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Gina Siciliano

I Know What I Am: The Life and Times of Artemisia Gentileschi

On sale date: September 10, 2019

This is a graphic biography of a pioneering woman painter in 17th century Rome.

In 17th century Rome, where women are expected to be chaste and yet are viewed as prey by powerful men, the extraordinary painter Artemisia Gentileschi fends off constant sexual advances as she works to become one of the greatest painters of her generation. Frustrated by the hypocritical social mores of her day, Gentileschi releases her anguish through her paintings and, against all odds, becomes a groundbreaking artist. Meticulously rendered in ballpoint pen, this gripping graphic biography serves as an art history lesson and a coming-of-age story. Resonant in the #MeToo era, I Know What I Am highlights a fierce artist who stood up to a shameful social status quo.


"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." — Hyperallergic


Black and white
7.7" × 11.8"