Ready to dive into some fun fiction about art and artists? I have some novels for your summer reading. (I say your but this list is as much for me as it is for you.)
The list below is broken down into 4 categories.
- My Favorites
- Others I Recommend
- Recommended by Others (in order of my interest)
- Vote on your favs or add to the list in the comments
I am not a book reviewer. I don't have any fancy words about these choices.
When I read fiction—which I'm trying to do more of since I discovered it helps combat dementia—I look for books that revolve around art or artists.
Of course, not all fiction I read has to do with art. This year I have enjoyed Mad Honey (Jody Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan) and the audio book The Dutch House (Anne Patchett, narrated by Tom Hanks), among others.
You will notice a recurring theme: One reason I keep these on my shelf is that I need to read them again to remember why I liked them so much. 😂
My plan is to come back in here and update the post when I get to the reading or re-reading of art novels. I can also add your choices if you leave them in the comments. (As soon as I updated this post, two more winners came in, thus the + in the title.)
Please note: All Amazon links here are affiliate links. I am grateful when you click and purchase as I earn a small commission.
My Favorite Novels About Art or Artists (So Far)
L'Origine: The Secret Life of the World's Most Erotic Masterpiece
This book is a novel that revolves around Courbet's scandalous painting, L'Origine du Monde.
Lilianne, who is also an accomplished artist, was my guest on episode 87 of The Art Biz and I can say without any prejudice that I loved this book.
The Swan Thieves
From my short notes in 2010: “Slow start. Very long. Many artist stereotypes, but I loved it. Couldn't put it down toward the end.”
To this I will add that I kept my copy so I could re-read it, as I often do. The short chapters make it easy to pick up and put down.
Middle-aged female painter is offered financial freedom from an admirer who serves as her muse. Loved it so much that I have read it twice and know I'll read it again. Themes of creative freedom, sex, control, and power.
Other Novels About Art or Artists I Can Recommend
The Art Forger
Apparently I wanted to read this book so much that I bought 2 copies, and have since gifted one of them. Weaves in the story of the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum theft.
You know the story by now: I need to read it again!
Recommended by Others
These novels about art or artists were recommended in the comments, on my Facebook page by two or more people, or inside the Art Biz Connection community. I have put them in semi-order of my interest in reading.
I'd love to continue adding to this reading list for artist and art enthusiasts.
Please consider leaving a comment for the following:
- Vote for your favorite(s) and tell us why.
- Tell us why you didn't like one or the other.
- Add any art-related fiction I missed. (Links are fine.)