Veritas: Poems after Artemisia
by Jacqueline Saphra
illustrated with paintings by Artemisia Gentileschi
signed limited edition of 300
Hercules Editions is pleased to announce the publication of Jacqueline Saphra’s stunning new chapbook, Veritas: Poems after Artemisia, which celebrates the achievement of the greatest woman painter of the late Italian Renaissance.
Artemisia Gentileschi gained both notoriety and fame during her lifetime; she was the victim in a high-profile rape trial, and although her attacker was found guilty, she suffered with the public shame of the violation. She struggled to build a reputation and career, eventually becoming a sought-after and successful painter. As one of the few notable woman artists of the day, her story continues to inspire, and in 2020 she was to have been the subject of a major and much anticipated exhibition at the National Gallery in London – nearly 400 years after she had been invited to the city by Charles I – that sadly had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jacqueline Saphra’s sonnet cycle positions Artemisia as an icon for our times – a woman who fought against injustice and established herself as an independent artist. This new book follows Saphra’s 2017 Hercules Editions publication, A Bargain with the Light, which saw her honour in sonnets another tough heroine, the photojournalist and muse Lee Miller. Since then she has also published with Nine Arches Press All My Mad Mothers, shortlisted for the prestigious T. S. Eliot Award, and Dad, Remember You are Dead – collections which probe how women navigate the present-day world.
Veritas: Poems after Artemisia also includes an introductory essay by Gentileschi expert Jordana Pomeroy, director of the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami, Florida, and an afterword by the author. Each sonnet is accompanied by a full-colour reproduction of the painting that inspired it.
Size: 48pp, W125 x H140mm, full colour throughout. First edition, limited to 300 copies, signed by the author. ISBN 9781916197114. Published April 2020
“These verses leave you
in no doubt of Artemisia Gentileschi’s biting relevance to our time. Saphra’s acutely sensitive translations of Artemisia's images and colours into the language of poetry reveal, painting by painting, why the artist leaps from her world to ours and why she is, in her blazing truth, our contemporary.”
– Jonathan Jones, art critic
for The Guardian and author
of a recent biography of