Top 10 Art Novels
The Girl with Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

2. Girl with a Pearl Earring (2001)

AUTHOR:Tracy Chevalier| PUBLISHER:Penguin Books

There have been several book which have dealt with Vermeer and his art. Pearl Earring is the most popular. Chevalier offers an interesting story, but lacks intensity and a compelling plot.

The Swan Thierves by Elizabeth Kostova

3.The Swan Thieves (2010)

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Kostova | PUBLISHER: Back Bay Books

A pretty good art mystery with strong finish. However, the characters have little human appeal. It sometimes difficult to care about the ending if we don't care about the characters.

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith

4. The Last Painting of Sara de Vos (2017)

AUTHOR: Dominic Smith | PUBLISHER: Picador

The plot surrounds a fictional artist named Sara de Vos. Aficionados of this type of fiction usually prefer the main character to be historical even if the story is not. Stories of the vein have two flows: the historical flow and the current narrative flow.

The Art Forger: A Novel by B.A, Shipiro

5. The Art Forger: A Novel (2012)

AUTHOR: B.A . Shipiro | PUBLISHER:Algonquin Books

Compelling mystery combining an inside glimpse of the gallery business with the craft of forgery. The novel rings true, and the conclusion is well concealed. The heroine, Claire Roth, seems a bit to naive, but still relatable.

The Pasion of Artemisai by Susan Vreeland

6. The Passion of Artemisia (2002)

AUTHOR: Susan Vreeland| PUBLISHER: Penguin Books

Artemisia Gentileschi was the first great woman of western art and a Renaissance feminist. The great tragedy of her life was her rape by her mentor. Although some have complained of historical inaccuracies, the reader comes away with a real human portrayal of a scorned woman.

The Lady and the Unicorn

7. The Lady and the Unicorn (2004)

AUTHOR: Tracy Chevalier | PUBLISHER: Penguin Books

A well-researched book about the tapestries by Nicholas des innocents. Like many of Chevalier books, the plot starts slowly and the characters do not engender much reader empathy.

Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland

8. Girl in Hyacinth Blue (2000)

AUTHOR: Susan Vreeland | PUBLISHER: Penguin Books Highland Fine Art

The book is plotted around the provenance of an unknown Vermeer painting. Interesting for art history types, but the multitude of characters fractures the plot

Lady in Ermine — The Story of A Woman Who Painted the Renaissance by Donna DiGiuseppe

9. Lady in Ermine: The Story of A Woman Who Painted the Renaissance

AUTHOR: Donna DiGiuseppe | PUBLISHER: Bagwyn Books

Historical novel on Sofonisba Anguissola who was one of the most fascinating Renaissance artists. Her work was perhaps to the level of Artemisia Gentileschi, but she enjoyed at the time a greater reputation. The book does not quite capture the passion of the heroine, but it comes close.

The Lover's Portrait by Jennifer Alderson

10. The Lover's Portrait: An Art Mystery (2016)

AUTHOR: Jennifer Alderson | PUBLISHER: Createspace

A decent mystery centering around Nazi art looting. Alderson did her research, and came up with a absorbing story. Also, as a travel writer, she paints a very appealing picture of modern day Amsterdam.

Van Gogh's Show by RL Foster

Van Gogh's Show
by RL Foster

There is a popular notion of Vincent Van Gogh as being an angry misanthrope. Actually, Van Gogh organized an exhibition of his art with some of his confreres in Paris in late November 1887. Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Emile Bernard and Louis Anquetin joined Van Gogh in a show that has been called the Impressionists of the Petits Boulevards.

The book is a quick read of 146 pages which has advantages and disadvantage. The serious collectors might conVan Gogh’s Show is a delightful small book that is centered on the show. The first part of the book covers the show from an historical perspective,
and it concludes with a novella. The author premises the possibility of other artists and personalities who may have attended the show. These include such art luminaries as Gauguin, Whistler, Suzanne Valadon and Walter Sickert. The book narrates each during the opening day of the show. The book explores their human personalities beyond their artistic personas.