Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) was one of the first well-known female painters. The movie tells the story of her youth, when she was guided and protected by her father, the painter ...
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Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) was one of the first well-known female painters. The movie tells the story of her youth, when she was guided and protected by her father, the painter Orazio Gentileschi. Her professional curiosity about the male anatomy, forbidden for her eyes, led her to the knowledge of sexual pleasure. But she was also well known because in 1612 she had to appear in a courtroom because her teacher, Agostino Tassi, was suspected of raping her. She tried to protect him, but was put in the thumb screws...Written by
The movie is a biography of the painter Artemisia Gentileschi, but many major details of her life were changed, leading to widespread criticism. In the movie, the relationship between Artemisia and Agostino is portrayed as a beautiful love affair, and the reason Artemisia is is tortured is because she refuses to testify that he raped her. In reality, Agostino really did rape Artemisia (and other women), and the reason she was tortured was because she did testify in court that he had raped her. See more »
The painting displayed at the trial, Judith Decapitating Holofernes, was painted c. 1618, 6 years after the 1612 trial of Tassi. The self-portrait she shows Tassi was painted in the 1630's, long after she met Tassi. See more »
A romantic drama about the 17th century italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi, the first woman in western art to be recognised officially by the guilds as a painter and the central figure in a notorious rape trial. By far the most striking element of this film is the smorgasbord of sensual imagery. From the rustic, artistic sets to the rich costumes to the extremely textural shots of skin this one just screams "Touch Me". The camera work is spot on and draws the viewer into the mise en scene completely unawares of what is happening to him or her. Very seductive.
The message of the film is quite simply that art conquers all. Love certainly doesn't and lust is portrayed in an at times farcical manner. In particular the artists orgy scene viewed with delirious humour through the window by our herioine (Artemisia) and the troubling sex scene with her teacher both reinforce the pain, literally, and the bestiality of the sex act.
It's not surprising that her mature work dealt with violent acts of revenge and holy sacrifice in light of what she went through
The shots of skin, sea, sand, canvas and paint dominate this film as the director attempts to create a living canvas on the screen. For the most part this is what is achieved.
The dialogue and plot are almost arbitrary to the dominance of the images, and as such this is an almost edible and tactile piece of work.
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