ViacomCBS International Studios Developing Series On Celebrated Artist Artemisia Gentileschi; Attaches ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ Producer Frida Torresblanco

Artemisia Gentileschi
Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, about 1615-17, by Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi. AP

ViacomCBS International Studios has announced that it is developing a TV series based on the life of Italian female artist Artemisia Gentileschi, who is considered to be one of the most accomplished painters in the Baroque period.

ViacomCBS International Studios has attached Pan’s Labyrinth producer Frida Torresblanco to develop the project, while former ViacomCBS International Studios UK managing director Jill Offman is also involved through her new outfit 66 Media. Both will serve as executive producers.

Currently in development and slated to begin production in 2021, ViacomCBS International Studios said the project will be the first TV series to depict Gentileschi, who was known for her violent, seductive autobiographical portraits and later became a figure of the modern-day feminist movement.

The series will be based on Mary Garrard’s non-fiction academic text, Artemisia Gentileschi: The Image of the Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art, which includes 400-year old transcripts of the artist’s rape trial from the Florentine archives.

Torresblanco, who runs Braven Films, said: “There is a strong connection with this sort of young and brave woman who can overcome abuse and to turn it into a legacy of genius. This will be a contemporary feminist piece that is at once provocative and transgressive, invoking the spirit of our present moment in an eloquent and elegant way.”

Offman added: “I have been obsessed with Artemisia since I saw a single painting of hers in Italy. Passionate, fierce, masterful; Artemisia’s work spoke of her lived experience, the experience of a female artist in Renaissance Italy that remains just as relevant today.”

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