Monday, May 8, 2017

Art in Fiction

There's a story behind every great work of art, which can lead to some very good historical fiction. Here are a few excellent reads about some of my favorite artists and their muses....each novel is as unique as the artists themselves. Enjoy!


Title & Author:  With Violets by Elizabeth Robards

This novel transports you to the world of the Impressionists and into the life of that remarkable artist Berthe Morisot. (But the book of her personal correspondence with family and friends edited by Denis Rouart is even better!)







Title & Author:  Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman

This charming little gem of a novel paints a portrait of Mary Cassatt as seen through the eyes of her sister, Lydia, as she poses for five of Mary's paintings.






Title & Author:  Marie Dancing by Carolyn Meyer

This YA novel takes you to the Paris of Edgar Degas and tells the story of 14-year-old Marie von Goethem, the young ballet dancer from the Paris Opera who posed for his famous Little Dancer sculpture.








Title & Author:  Strapless:  John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X by Deborah Davis.

This is an excellent non-fiction account of Sargent's most provocative portrait, and the American beauty, Virginie Gautreau, who posed for it. (And there were some serious repercussions for both of them when Sargent showed this portrait in public for the first time.)





Title & Author:  Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

The story behind this Vermeer painting is related in this quiet and well-written, novel....which I thought was as good as the movie.








Title & Author:  A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

This is the fictional memoir of the woman who inspired Andrew Wyeth's most famous painting, Christina's World, which I recently read and really enjoyed.





Then there are these art-inspired novels that I haven't read yet, but that I hope to read soon:



Happy Reading!

22 comments:

  1. What a great post! I'm interested in several of these and imagine some of the historical elements will be as fascinating as the fictional plot. :)

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    1. I love reading about different artists and what their lives were like, especially when I'm a big fan of their art. :)

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  2. Wow! There's more than I thought. I've been eying A Piece of the World for a while now. I'll have to read it.

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    1. I liked that one; it's very well-written and interesting.

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  3. Oh, I love lists like this! I have only read The Girl with the Pearl Earring, but I remember liking it very much.

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    1. Chevalier is a good author. But the other books on this list are good, too. ;)

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  4. I've only read 'The Girl with the Pearl Earring' & hadn't heard of any of the others. Great to see some recommendations - most of my reading of artists has been in children's books.

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    1. I love reading about any and all artists...probably because I wish I were more artistic. :) Thanks for commenting!

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  5. Oh these covers are to die for, Lark! I love the idea of a story behind a beautiful work of art. Lovely post! :)

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  6. What a great post! And those covers - I absolutely LOVE them - make me want to read/re-read these books!

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    1. Aren't they great? These kinds of books are some of my favs! :)

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  7. Love all the covers! I'm familiar with some but haven't read them. You should post more of this feature, Lark. :)

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    1. I'll do that. :) Glad you liked it!

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  8. I like this subgenre--a work of art that inspires a story about it. I loved book and movie of Girl with a Pearl Earring. Now I want to read A Piece of the World--I've always loved Christina's World and Andrew Wyeth.

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    1. I thought it was a great read! I hope you like it, too. :)

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  9. I liked Girl in the Afternoon by Serena Burdick. It's about a fictional woman artist but includes an encounter with Manet. Worth a look if you like this genre!

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    1. I do like reading books about artists...especially if they're set in Paris. I'll look for Burdick's book at the library. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

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  10. I loved "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and I also enjoyed "Luncheon of the Boating Party." I will have to try some of these others! Great post.

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    1. Thanks! (And I'm glad to know you liked Luncheon of the Boating Party.)

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  11. I so love books that involve works of art! (which is strange, given that I'm not well-versed in art)

    Great list!

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    1. Thank you! Hope you get a chance to read one or two. :)

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