Thursday Read: The Economist, 16 March 2019

An article on Artemisia Gentileschi is in the Books section.

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Illustration: Gentileschi’s Judith Beheading Holofernes

“Gentileschi’s Self-Portrait as St. Catherine of Alexandria was acquired last year by the National Gallery in London, becoming only the 21st work by a woman in a 2,300-piece collection.”

Artemisia Gentileschi was the “first female artist to be admitted to the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence.” She was raped by Agostino Tassi, who her father had hired “to teach her perspective.” Her father “petitioned the pope for compensation. His daughter was considered damaged goods.” The case went to trial. Tassi, found guilty, “was exiled from Rome,” but continued to receive commissions from successive popes.

Gentileschi was “married off to a mediocre artist” but “nevertheless set up her own studio . . . She worked in Naples and London. She became the great artist she always wanted to be.”

“A play about Gentileschi’s travails that won awards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year, transferred to London and will soon be staged elsewhere.”

“Roughly 60 paintings by Gentileschi survive . . . ”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Asymmetry, p. 119

Alice and Ezra’s relationship seems so exhausting.

Their relationship is only possible because Alice is so very young, a real ingénue, like her namesake Alice in Wonderland.

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She had once counted twenty-seven different pill dispensers in that bathroom, vials with science-fiction names from Atropine to Zantac and a barrage of exclamatory imperatives: TAKE ONE TABLET DAILY OR EVERY SIX TO EIGHT HOURS AS NEEDED. TAKE ONE TABLET BY MOUTH AT BEDTIME FOR ONE MONTH THEN INCREASE BY 1 TABLET EACH MONTH UNTIL TAKING 4 TABLETS. TAKE 2 CAPSULES NOW THEN 1 CAPSULE EVERY 8 HOURS TILL GONE. ONE TABLET WITH A GLASS OF WATER ONCE A DAY. TAKE WITH FOOD. AVOID EATING GRAPEFRUIT OR DRINKING GRAPEFRUIT JUICE WITH THIS MEDICINE. DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN OR PRODUCTS CONTAINING ASPIRIN WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AND CONSENT OF YOUR PHYSICIAN. KEEP IN THE REFRIGERATOR AND SHAKE WALL BEFORE USING. USE CAUTION WHEN OPERATING A CAR. AVOID THE USE OF A SUNLAMP. DO NOT FREEZE. PROTECT FROM LIGHT. PROTECT FROM LIGHT AND MOISTURE. DISPENSE IN A TIGHT, LIGHT-RESISTANT CONTAINER. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. SWALLOW WHOLE. DO NOT SHARE WITH ANYONE . . .

Self doesn’t know a single writer (and she knows many) who can afford this many prescriptions, even with medical insurance covering 80%.

Self wishes Alice would go off and find a man close to her age who doesn’t need to be taken care of.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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