Susannah and the Elders
by
Artemesia Gentileschi
1610

Author's notes: Just a brief mention that Orazio and Artemesia Gentileschi were real people (and Susannah and the Elders as shown above is a real painting) as was Agostino Tassi, and there really was a rape trial in which Tassi accused Artemesia of being a licentious woman (though accusations that she was a lesbian didn't actually come until later in her life--instead he accused her of being an "insatiable whore" and of sleeping with her father, among other things). Artemesia was probably one of the most important of the tiny minority women artists of the period, though few of her works survive (probably more than we know, since there are several pieces credited to her father that may well have either been hers or theirs in concert, since they worked together on several projects over the years). If anyone wants to know more, the following url has lots of links as well as an interesting article on the film (which had zilch to do with reality):

http//darkwing.uoregon.edu/~acd/site3/Artemisia.html#Notes

Obviously, I've taken a lot of liberties here, but hopefully without completely contradicting what little is known (since the mentions are pretty distant, I've just tried to weave in and out of the known dates). One exception I never could find any information on how Tassi died (I sincerely doubt it was by being decapitated in Naples--though with the life he led, it's possible) so that is a complete and total fiction. Is any of this important to the story? Nah, just me having fun with my hobby (hmmm, so is that the art history or the writing?).

--PB


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