Recommended Reading: Fiction with Art/Artists

I adore to read fiction with art and artist threads.  This is my personal writing niche like celebrated author Susan Vreeland, who has dedicated her writing life to fiction with art “tie-ins”, as she calls it.

I highly recommend these novels for the art/fiction lover…

THE FOREST LOVER, Susan Vreeland. Against all social mores, Canadian Emily Carr paints the British Columbia wilds and its great totems, recording the essence of the forest and native peoples.

THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY, Irving Stone. A classic novel about Michelangelo, the Sistine ceiling, and his relationship with the popes of the time period.

THE PASSION OF ARTEMISIA, Susan Vreeland. Despite rape and scandal, the historic Artemisia Gentileschi forges a successful career in the male-dominated art world in Rome, Florence, and Genoa.

CLAUDE AND CAMILLE, Stephanie Cowell. A love story of French painter Claude Monet and his muse, Camille.

PORTRAITS OF AN ARTIST, Mary F. Burns. Brings to life the subjects of American John Singer Sargent’s paintings–family, friends, lovers, enemies.

CASCADE, Maryanne O’Hara. An in depth perspective of a fictional female American artist in the 1930’s, set in a doomed town Cascade, MA and New York City.

LEAVING VAN GOGH, Carol Wallace. Van Gogh’s last months under the care of Dr. Gachet.

THE ART FORGER, B. A. Shapiro. A novel based on the Isabella Stewart Gardner 1990 heist of thirteen paintings.

I, HOGARTH Michael Dean. The bawdy life of the London painter William Hogarth.

THE SIGN OF THE WEEPING VIRGIN, Alana White. A miraculous painting, a missing girl, and a powerful man trying to keep the peace in Florence during a volatile time in the Italian Renaissance.

THE KING’S AGENT, Donna Russo Morin. The real Battista della Paglia, collector and thief, working for François, King of France, an art quest tale.

THE SECRET BOOK OF FRIDA KAHLO, F.G. Haghenbeck. An imagined story of Frida Kahlo.

GIRL IN HYACINTH BLUE, Susan Vreeland. The 350-year provenance of a fictional Vermeer.

THE BIRTH OF VENUS, Sarah Dunant. Story of Renaissance art and forbidden love.

GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING, Tracy Chevalier. Vermeer’s maid, model, muse and story of art and artist.

THE LADY AND THE UNICORN, Tracy Chevalier. Fictional characters surrounding the making of a 15th century tapestry

THE MADONNAS OF LENINGRAD, Debra Dean. A docent’s remembrances of paintings in the Hermitage during the Great War.

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