I Know What I Am: The Life and Times of Artemisia Gentileschi (Hardcover)

I Know What I Am: The Life and Times of Artemisia Gentileschi Cover Image
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(Graphic Novels)


This is a graphic biography of a pioneering woman painter in 17th century Rome.

In 17th century Rome, where women are expected to be chaste and yet are viewed as prey by powerful men, the extraordinary painter Artemisia Gentileschi fends off constant sexual advances as she works to become one of the greatest painters of her generation. Frustrated by the hypocritical social mores of her day, Gentileschi releases her anguish through her paintings and, against all odds, becomes a groundbreaking artist. Meticulously rendered in ballpoint pen, this gripping graphic biography serves as an art history lesson and a coming-of-age story. Resonant in the #MeToo era, I Know What I Am highlights a fierce artist who stood up to a shameful social status quo.

About the Author

GINA SICILIANO is an artist and musician living in Seattle, Washington. She graduated from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, in 2007.

Praise For…

I Know What I Am is an extraordinary debut — a beautifully drawn portrait of the Italian baroque painter.

Siciliano's meticulously penned panels carry thoughtful historical context and emotional urgency. This impressive debut is the detailed, passionate scholarly portrait that Gentileschi deserves.

The riveting life story of Baroque’s most famous woman painter — a fascinating graphic novel about Artemisia Gentileschi.

This beautifully illustrated book brings into sharp focus Artemisia's role as one of the greatest painters of Baroque Italy, who navigated her way through an extremely patriarchal world.

Siciliano visually and textually confronts the trauma Gentileschi experienced, while demonstrating the painter’s strong will and passion. Without falling prey to the trope of artistic achievement through trauma, this intensely detailed visual biography does justice to a still undervalued artist.

Siciliano's exquisite craftsmanship is clear on every page of this consistently engrossing volume, which portrays the artist’s plight with affection and urgency.

An extraordinarily thorough and detailed treatment of a barely believable life, a valuable addition to art history, and in every way, an education.

Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi led a fascinating, richly productive artistic life in a period not well known for women painters. This information-dense graphic biography does an excellent job of putting her life and career in its historical and cultural context, a period of tumultuous change and sometimes violently competitive groups of rival artists. Siciliano's portraits and renditions of paintings have marvelous fine detail, made all the more impressive by her medium: ballpoint pen.

I Know What I Am paints an enduring, detailed portrait through a feminist lens of Artemisia as a woman to remember: as a pioneer, as a master of her craft, as a mother, a survivor of injustices due to her gender, and an artist whose surviving works are timeless.

A deep, enduring homage to a brilliant painter and a remarkable woman.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781683962113
ISBN-10: 1683962117
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019
Pages: 232
Language: English
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