The great painters of the 17th century served as inspiration and point of reference for French cinematographer Benoit Delhomme in Agnes Merlet's film Artemisia, which Miramax released in May. Set in Italy in 1610, it is the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, the daughter of a famous painter. She also yearns to paint, but her passion is forbidden at a time when women were not allowed to study or paint male nudes. "Paintings are the only way we can view the 17th century," says Delhomme, "so this ...

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