Book club to discuss 'Passion of Artemisia'

Apr 26, 2014

Thomaston — The Thomaston Public Library's Intergenerational Book Club will discuss "The Passion of Artemisia" by Susan Vreeland Tuesday, May 20, at 2:30 p.m. at the library, located in the Thomaston Academy building, 60 Main St./Route 1.

In her novel, Vreeland tells the story of a painter who transformed Renaissance Italy with the beauty of her work. "The Passion of Artemisia" chronicles the extraordinary life of Artemisia Gentileschi, the first woman to make a significant contribution to art history. At age 18, Gentileschi finds herself humiliated in papal court for publicly accusing the man who raped her — Agostino Tassi, her painting teacher. When even her father does not stand up for her, she knows she cannot stay in Rome and begs to have a marriage arranged for her.

Her new husband, an artist named Pietro Stiatessi, takes Gentileschi to his native Florence, where her talent for painting blossoms and she becomes the first woman elected to the Accademia dell'Arte. But marriage clashes with her newfound fame as a painter and she begins a lifelong search to reconcile painting and motherhood, passion and genius.

Set against the glorious backdrops of Rome, Florence and Genoa; peopled with historical characters such as Cosimo de'Medici and Galileo; and filled with details of the life of a Renaissance painter, "The Passion of Artemisia" is a portrait of an astonishing woman that will captivate lovers of Gentileschi's paintings and anyone interested in the life of a woman who ignored the conventions of her day and dared to follow her heart.

On the third Tuesday of each month, the Intergenerational Book Club, a group of men and women of all ages, comes together to share their opinions and ideas about the book selection. Extra copies of the books are purchased by Friends of the Thomaston Public Library from the Annual Appeal funds; donations are appreciated. All are welcome to attend. Those who live in Thomaston who would like to attend but need a ride are encouraged to call the library at 354-2453 the week before the club meets.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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