Novels About Artists


My great uncle, Edwin Fulwider, (for a look at his childhood click here) was an artist who managed to earn a living with his paintings, lithography, and other works, but also taught art at a college in Ohio for most of his working life. His wife, Kathryn Fulwider, was a working artist as well as her husband’s model, secretary, housekeeper, and the rest of a wife’s life. These two made me curious to know more about the real lives of artists. Sadly, without sufficient eduction in art, I found artists’ biographies often pretty dull. Then I discovered fiction about artists and the world came alive. I’ve since dabbled in real biographies of the artists.



This one is pure fiction–Alizée Benoit was not real. It belongs here all the same.

The Muralist: A Novel by B.A. Shapiro. My review.



Vermeer’s story told by the girl who posed for the painting.

Girl With the Pearl Earring: A Novel by Tracy Chevalier



Telling the story of Picasso in 1936, this book has both real and fictional characters.

Cooking For Picasso: A Novel by Camille Aubray.  My review.



I love the impressionists–their work constitutes my favorite period of art history. Claude Monet and his wife Camille come alive in this excellent historical novel. The genius, the selfishness, the poverty, the heartache–and the love–all shine thru in this story. I came away feeling I had truly spent time with the great artist’s long-suffering wife. [From my old blog]

Claude and Camile: A Novel of Monet by Stephanie Cowell



Michaelangelo, the Pope, and the ceiling. The movie is excellent as well.

The Agony and The Ecstacy by Irving Stone



The backstory of a few of Degas’ dancing girls.

Interesting story, well told. The author’s note was helpful, too, in that it explained what elements of the story were fictional. I love Degas so I was automatically drawn to this book and was not disappointed. It seems like the life story of so many young people in poverty today–maybe not with ballet, but academics, sports, music, a dream to be a doctor or something, yet by the time they are old enough life for success to start, the desire to succeed has beaten them down–or their family dysfunction has sucked the life out of them. [From my old blog]

Painted Girls: A Novel by Cathy Marie Buchanan


My Favorite



I know Frank Lloyd Wright was an architect, but he was an artist-architect. I loved this book so passionately I could not read anything for over a week afterward. I listened to the audiobook.

Loving Frank: A Novel by Nancy Horan



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