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Art in Fiction

A selection of titles with artwork or artists as inspiration


  • Pat Barker, Life Class
    The lives of London art students during the first world war
  • Kunal Basu, The Miniaturist
    Imagination and intrigue in sixteenth century India
  • Vanora Bennett, Portrait of an Unknown Woman
    Holbein and the More family; passion, politics, religion and art
  • Ciaran Carson, Shamrock Tea
    The Arnolfini portrait and Bruges in a prose fantasy
  • Tracey Chevalier, Girl with the Pearl Earring
    Vermeer's life and work
  • Tracey Chevalier, The Lady and the Unicorn
    Story of the famous tapestries
  • Lewis Crofts, Pornographer of Vienna
    Life of Egon Schiele
  • David Dabydeen, A Harlot's Progress
    A tale reinventing Hogarth's 1732 painting
  • William Davenport, The Painter
    Story of Rembrandt's love and art
  • Debra Dean, Madonnas of Leningrad
    The Hermitage Museum and the invigorating power of art
  • Michele Desbordes, The Maid's Request
    Enigmatic relationship between Italian painter and his servant in Renaissance France
  • David Dickinson, Death of an Old Master
    Murder of a Victorian art critic
  • Gioia Diliberto, I am Madame X
    Tale of the mysterious John Singer Sargent model
  • Sarah Dunant, Birth of Venus
    Church, art and love in Renaissance Florence
  • Peter Everett, Matisse's War
    Lives of French writers and artists under German occupation
  • Leslie Forbes, Waking Raphael
    Raphael art restoration in 1930s Urbino
  • Margaret Forster, Keeping the World Away
    Imaginative journey of a Gwen John painting across the twentieth century
  • Michael Frayn, Headlong
    An art historian's fascination with Brueghel
  • Nell Freudenberger,The Dissident
    About love, art and identity
  • Patrick Gale, Notes from an Exhibition
    Intriguing life story of a Cornish bipolar artist
  • Sue Gee, Earth and Heaven
    Slade art students between the wars
  • Miranda Glover, Masterpiece
    Extraordinary life of a fictional artist
  • Mary Gordon, Spending
    New York artist in search of a male muse
  • Neil Griffiths, Saving Caravaggio
    Thriller set in Italy about art theft and obsession
  • Elizabeth Hickey, The Painted Kiss
    Gustave Klimt and his lover Emilie Floege in beautiful Vienna
  • Suri Hustvedt, What I loved
    Fictional artist/collector as main character
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, An Artist of the Floating World
    Japan 1948; life of a celebrated fictional artist
  • Alexandra Lapierre, Artemisia
    Fame and scandal of Artemisia Gentileschi
  • Joan Lingard, The Kiss
    Rodin and Gwen John remembered
  • David Lipsky, The Art Fair
    Portrayal of the New York art scene
  • Mario Vargas Llosa, The Way to Paradise
    The journeys of Paul Gauguin and his pioneering grandmother
  • MR Lorric, Floating Book
    Fifteenth century Venice and the art of printing
  • Shena Mackay, The Artist's Widow
    Reflections at a retrospective Brit art exhibition
  • Deirdre Madden, Authenticity
    Three fictional artist's lives link
  • Sylvie Matton, Rembrandt's Whore
    Turbulent era in seventeenth century Dutch society
  • Deborah Moggach,Tulip Fever
    Dutch painting and Amsterdam of 1630s
  • Barbara Mujica, Frida
    Fictional biography of Frida Kahlo
  • Atle Naess, Doubting Thomas
    Scandalous life of Caravaggio
  • Howard Norman, The Museum Guard
    Life examined at a Nova Scotian museum
  • Gregory Norminton, Arts and Wonders
    Fantastical story of a dwarf art forger
  • Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red
    Sixteenth century Islamic miniaturist in atmosphere of crime and devotion
  • Christopher Peachment, Caravaggio
    First person narrative of the imagined Caravaggio
  • Arturo Perez-Reverte, The Flanders Panel
    Restoration and forgery set in the art world of modern Madrid
  • Alyson Richman, The Mask Carver's Son
    Japanese artist forsakes heritage to embrace the new
  • Manuel Rivas, Vermeer's Milkmaid and other Stories
    Short stories from this painter of words
  • James Runcie, The Colour of Heaven
    Fourteenth century Venice and the search for lapis lazuli
  • Carolyn See, The Handyman
    The nature of creativity through the eyes of an aspiring artist
  • Jonathan Smith, Summer in February
    A speech against modern art by Alfred Munnings takes one of his listeners back forty years
  • Jose Carlos Somoza, Art of Murder
    Hyperdramatic art where people are the canvases
  • Roma Tearne, Mosquito
    Love, art and civil war in Sri Lanka, by a significant artist-author
  • James Twining, The Gilded Seal
    An art theft thriller, part of an exciting series
  • Jane Urquhart, The Underpainter
    Story of a fictional modernist painter
  • Salley Vickers, Miss Garnet's Angel
    Venice; discovery and art restoration
  • Salley Vickers, Other Side of You
    Combining psychiatry and a Caravaggio scholar
  • Susan Vreeland, The Passion of Artemisia
    Artemisia Gentileschi, Italian Baroque artist
  • Giles Waterfield, The Hound in the Left-Hand Corner
    Comic novel involving a Gainsborough painting and the museum world
  • Paul Watkins, The Forger
    Paris 1939; facing dilemmas over art forgery
  • James Wilson, The Dark Clue
    Victorian second rate artist and would be biographer of Turner
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