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This debut graphic novel tells the true life story of a pioneering female painter.
Michelangelo, Velázquez, Rubens, Rembrandt — all larger-than-life Renaissance figures celebrated for their mastery of their art. But often overlooked in this pantheon of Old Masters is Artemisia Gentileschi — Italy’s greatest female painter. In her debut graphic novel, Gina Siciliano brings to life the tumultuous 17th-century cities of Rome, Florence, Naples, and Venice where the fearless Artemisia braved the male-dominated sphere of painting to become a groundbreaking artist. I Know What I Am paints a complex, feminist portrait of Artemisia as a single mother, a sexual assault survivor, and a pioneering practitioner of her craft.
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.
I Know What I Am is an extraordinary debut — a beautifully drawn portrait of the Italian baroque painter.
— The Guardian
Siciliano's meticulously penned panels carry thoughtful historical context and emotional urgency. This impressive debut is the detailed, passionate scholarly portrait that Gentileschi deserves.
— Publishers Weekly
The riveting life story of Baroque’s most famous woman painter — a fascinating graphic novel about Artemisia Gentileschi.
— Daily Art Magazine
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.
— Art UK
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.
— Library Journal
An extraordinarily thorough and detailed treatment of a barely believable life, a valuable addition to art history, and in every way, an education.
— Strong Words
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.
— Black Nerd Problems
A deep, enduring homage to a brilliant painter and a remarkable woman.
— The Comics Journal