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Extended Audio Sample The Passion of Artemisia Audiobook, by Susan Vreeland Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.91 out of 53.91 out of 53.91 out of 53.91 out of 53.91 out of 5 3.91 (43 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Susan Vreeland Narrator: Gigi Bermingham Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2001 ISBN: 9781598873030
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After Artemisia Gentileschi, a promising young painter, is raped by her instructor, a papal court orders her torture and her father betrays her. Shamed but not vanquished, she asks her harsh parent to arrange her marriage to another painter and, thus vindicated in the eyes of society and the church, she begins a new life. But not a happy one.

Artemisia’s visceral passion to create art—specifically, to depict on canvas the kind of strong heroine she herself has become—threatens to overwhelm her roles as wife and daughter. Her struggle to reconcile her conflicting passions lies at the heart of Artemisia’s story, ingeniously crafted by Susan Vreeland, whose gift of language is matched by her uncanny ability to evoke a distant time and place.

Vreeland’s previous novel, the bestselling Girl in Hyacinth Blue, dazzled the critics and was voted a Book Sense Book of the Year finalist. Once again bringing the visual arts to vivid life, The Passion of Artemisia is a glowing, subtly delineated portrait of a remarkable woman—the first to make a significant contribution to art history.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary Lang Greenebaum | 2/12/2014

    " I really loved this book! A brilliant woman who makes it on her own in artistic and spiritual context of 16th century Italy. Apparently it was produced as a play in San Jose by a Humbolt theater group and am sorry to have missed that. Now I want to study her paintings! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 2/6/2014

    " This is my second Vreeland novel - and I was not disappointed. If you like stories about strong women, historical fiction, or art, then this book is a good choice. What I liked most was reading about the struggles of Artemisia in a time when women's roles were in the home with family and children. She broke the mold long before the women's liberation movement. For me, the story of her career was also very compelling as I love art and enjoyed reading about the artist in her time. The author also worked hard to keep the storyline true to the history and morals of the time period. While fiction, the background of Artemisia, the town, her paintings, other artists, etc, are all based on the author's extensive research. I would recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Victoria | 2/5/2014

    " quick read. novel so not really a great bio. wished that there had been pictures of her works that are mentioned. would like to read a great bio "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fortunata | 1/29/2014

    " Now and then you come across a story that is hard to put down and this is one of them. The incredible story of the Renaissance female painter Artemisia Gentileschi, a genius who achieved success in a man's world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris Siegel | 1/29/2014

    " I loved reading about Artemesia, a painter in the time of Michelangelo. While touring Buckingham Palace, I saw a painting by her father, and I think I saw one of hers at the National Gallery. So cool! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mj | 1/28/2014

    " Easy to read interesting book, especially if you like Italian Renaissance art. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marieli | 1/25/2014

    " A woman as painter at a time when the art was very much a man's world. This author makes these people more than just historical figures. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paige | 1/21/2014

    " I would probably give this a 2.5 if I could. I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but I also found it pretty easy to put down. I also found myself skimming some parts near the end, which is unusual for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denisevaccaro | 1/19/2014

    " A wonderful book! Artemisia is a fascinating, brave, strong woman to be greatly admired and Susan Vreeland told her story beautifully. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheri | 1/18/2014

    " Wonderful story about a strong italian female painter trying to fend for herself in the Renaissance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eskae | 1/7/2014

    " I thought this was a very good book, well written and interesting, but it made me feel kind of depressed. The experiences of Artemisia at the beginning of the book were horrifying and the effects followed her throughout her life, which is sad. Still a good book with lots of positives though! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 mara | 12/31/2013

    " Disappointing. If you liked her first book, stay away. Simply not as good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 12/23/2013

    " I love historical fiction and this was especially engaging after returning from Italy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lottimerrill | 12/13/2013

    " On "THe ShelF" in the library! I found this book facsinating! THe first part about how she was treated after being accused of being a witch was soooo unbelievable. Yet we know things like this happened back in the day. Crazy stuff! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kitti Lynn | 12/2/2013

    " This is the 1st Susan Vreeland book I read, and the one of hers that I loved most. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 12/2/2013

    " Educational and entertaining. I enjoyed learning about the life of a female renaissance painter in Italy. Towards the end of the book, I just didn't want to put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monique | 12/1/2013

    " Not one I would have picked up but good. If you like art history and have any connection with Italy you will probably like this book. There is of course more to it than that but that is what drew me in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 rebekah | 11/26/2013

    " I love historical fiction. The beginning of the book was graphic and intense and knowing it is based on historical facts was disturbing. But as the story developed I was completely captivated. Overall a great tale about a woman painter I knew nothing about. Now I want to go to Italy again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 pjreads ♫ | 10/11/2013

    " Generally well-done, but sometimes overwrought, sometimes simplistic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 9/14/2013

    " A total enjoyable read. The angst of this poor woman artist, who was pressured under the domineering men of her times certainly makes one realize how the art world works according to convention. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela | 8/20/2013

    " Beautifully written, but seems to lack an ending. The historical basis for the novel make it a compelling, fast read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trisha | 4/16/2013

    " I enjoyed the book, although it was sad to me. It was a new experience for me to read this genre. I am happy to say I wasn't disappointed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hope | 2/21/2013

    " Very enjoyable "historical fiction." Seemingly well-researched, characters and plot well developed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marissa | 1/12/2013

    " If you like historical fiction, then maybe you'll like historical art fiction. Good story of the life of a female post-Renaissance artist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany | 8/27/2012

    " This is a great book so well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelley Shaw | 5/2/2012

    " This was, by far, my favorite Susan Vreeland book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charissa | 2/28/2012

    " I really enjoyed this piece of historical fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dacie | 1/27/2012

    " This is a fictional story about a historical woman, Artemisia Gentileschi who was a seventeenth-century painter. Artemisia's story is inspiring yet relatable and as a reader I felt amazingly sympathetic to her life, emotions, misfortunes, and desires even though she lived at another time in history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 12/7/2011

    " I learned a lot from this book and loved looking at the paintings after I read about them. It was good I know a little Italian. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marianna Victoria | 10/5/2011

    " a nice, easy to read book. nothing else. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Triniti | 9/8/2011

    " not as good as some of her others "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Ard | 8/15/2011

    " An enjoyable read - quick and entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becca-Marie | 5/4/2011

    " Unexpectedly really good. I was thoroughly enjoyed the whole time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tosha | 5/3/2011

    " This is one of my favorite fictitious portraits of a historical figure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shonnie | 4/19/2011

    " I still like Girl in Hyacinth Blue best, but this was good, better than the Forest Lover. Continues along the same theme, fictional work based on historical character in the art world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 4/6/2011

    " A great historical fiction about the difficulty of being an artist,a woman artist, in the 1600. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Salimah | 3/13/2011

    " One of my favorite period novels. Mixed with fact and fiction, it is a world of the beginning of women power. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rick | 3/10/2011

    " Beautifully written exploration of an artists' mind...Really wonderful to read the passages of time, and then revisit the paintings...it brings them to life... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 3/7/2011

    " Good story and enjoyed learning about art/painting, too bad (like with so many strong, successful women), she couldn't find a man who could appreciate her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 3/7/2011

    " Another wonderful historical fiction about art and Renaissance Italy :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bowenarrow | 2/20/2011

    " Great story of a great woman in a time and place so hard for women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anita | 1/25/2011

    " If your'e a painter, like me, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. If you want to know more about a painters life in Europe, it's also a great book! I loved the setting, especially since I had been to Rome and Florenece. I have a signed by the author copy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frances | 1/24/2011

    " I think I would have enjoyed a biography of this woman rather than a white-washed fictional portrait, which is what I thought this book was. I did enjoy looking her paintings up on the internet as each one was introduced. "

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About the Author
Author Susan Vreeland

Susan Vreeland is the New York Times bestselling author of several books, including Luncheon of the Boating Party, Life Studies, The Passion of Artemisia, The Forest Lover, and Girl in Hyacinth Blue. She lives in San Diego.