Synopsis by Mark Deming
This historical drama is based on the true story of Artemisia Gentileschi, the first woman to achieve success as a painter. In 17th century Italy, noted artist Orazio Gentileschi (Michel Serrault) is a portrait artist enjoying a certain degree of success and acclaim. His 17-year-old daughter Artemisia (Valentina Cervi) would like to follow the same path as her father, but women are not allowed to pursue careers in the arts, and the convent where she attends school forbids students to sketch nude models. Eager to learn, Artemisia begins posing for herself by use of a mirror; her father discovers her secret but is enthusiastic about her work, and he takes her out of school so he can tutor her in painting and drawing. Orazio forbids her to draw male nudes, but curious Artemisia persuades local men to serve as her models, and her work steadily improves. In time, Artemisia and her work come to the attention of Agostino Tassi (Miki Manojovic), a friend of her father who is a well-known painter and something of a rake. Tassi is impressed by both the art and the artist, but when he and Artemisia begin a love affair, he finds himself on trial for rape.
artist, painting, passion, sex, sexual-awakening, virgin