Artemisia Discussion

Artemisia Discussion

Directions:  watch the film Artemisia by Agnes Merlet. Make a new post and respond to the questions below (1 post, 400 total words minimum). As you construct your answers to each question, please indicate (in parentheses if you like, keeping the flow of the response) which question you are responding to. Then reply to one classmate (100 words minimum). Note: Make sure to connect your responses to the materials found in this lesson as well as the overall topic of women in the arts and humanities, including the role that gender, race, class, and sexuality play in creative work and its reception. What role did gender play in Artemisia’s life? Gender can be defined as the way society organizes sexual difference and uses it to define who men and women are and what they can and cannot do. What power does she have relative to others — not just the men in her life, but the other women? In what ways is she privileged, and in what ways not? How does this affect what happens to her? Give specific examples from the lesson framework and the film to answer this question. What are the subjects of Artemisia’s paintings and how do they compare with the other female artists of her time? Specifically, what is the story of Judith, which is represented in one of her most famous paintings? How is it relevant to Artemisia’s own story? And why is it meaningful that Artemesia paints the scene using herself and Tassi as models? (The film does a good job portraying this). Why do you think it is, that when Tassi is on trial, it is Artemisia who is tortured? What does this tell us about gender and privilege in that time and place? Finally: There is much debate about the choices made in portraying Artemisia’s life, particularly her sexuality, in this movie. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with these debates (two sources include http://h-net.org/~women/threads/disc-inaccurate.html and http://www.webwinds.com/artemisia/movie.htm). Why do you think the writer and director chose to depict — some would say “whitewash” — Artemisia’s story the way that they did? Why is this problematic? What does this say about women and art in today’s culture?