Article Title

Blood Water Paint


Abigail Packard


Excellent, Young Adult, Artist, Sexual Assault, Trauma, Truth, Poetry

Document Type

Book Review


Artemisia Gentileschi is a gifted artist. But as a seventeen-year-old woman in Rome during 1610, she cannot be the painter she wants to be. So Artemisia settles as her father’s assistant, grinding paints and painting everything under his name. As Artemisia’s work becomes more well-known, offers begin coming her father’s way for commissions. Along with that comes a mentor: Agostino Tassi. Tassi begins teaching Artemisia, and their work relationship turns romantic. One day, however, Tassi rapes Artemisia, and she spirals into depression. She gains the courage to tell her father, and they take Tassi to court. In order to prove that she’s telling the truth, Artemisia is tortured to see if her accusations remain the same under the immense pressure of physical pain. In the aftermath of the trial, Tassi is sentenced to two years in prison, and Artemisia works to regain control of her battered hands so that she can paint great works that are reminiscent of her experiences.