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 Gentileschi 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.
"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
"Without falling prey to the trope of artistic achievement through trauma, this intensely detailed visual biography does justice to a still undervalued artist." — Hyperallergic
"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
"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." — Booklist
"I Know What I Am paints an enduring, detailed portrait through a feminist lense 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