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ViacomCBS develops Gentileschi drama

ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) is developing a scripted series based on the life of 17th century Italian female painter Artemisia Gentileschi.

Jill Offman

Currently in development and slated to begin production in 2021, the project will be the first made-for-television series to depict the Renaissance artist, known for her violent, seductive autobiographical portraits, who later became an iconic figure of the modern-day feminist movement.

VIS has optioned the rights to Mary Garrard’s non-fiction academic text Artemisia Gentileschi: The Image of the Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art.

Film and TV producer Frida Torresblanco (Pan’s Labyrinth) will exec produce the series with Jill Offman, MD at 66 Media and former MD of VIS UK.

“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,” said Offman.

Torresblanco added: “I couldn’t be more passionate about giving Artemisia a voice and bringing her timely story to the screen. Now more than ever the inspiration that her life and her art provides is needed.

“There is a strong connection with this sort of young and brave woman who can overcome abuse and 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.”


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