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Topic: Fictional art history

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Subject: Fictional art history
Date Posted: 6/10/2008 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2006
Posts: 786
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Saw the post on Cassatt reading..... and thought it was odd that I've just finished

The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chavalier. I'm always amazed at the subgenres that I've found since joining here.

French noblemen and Flemish tapestry makers have their women  confused by a French painter who is all about conquest. It was interesting and kept me going for a day.

Makes me wonder what else is out there that would fall into this narrow field. I love historical fiction and I love art. Guess I'll go post this in the history forum, I'm sure there is one. If you know of anything, follow me over there, K?

Date Posted: 6/10/2008 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
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Have you read Girl in Hyacinth Blue? I can't remember the author, but I loved it--it traces a painting back through time as it moves from owner to owner, back to the person who modeled for it.

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 8:32 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 550
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The Girl with the Pearl Earing is also a really good historical art story

Date Posted: 6/14/2008 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2007
Posts: 2,992
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Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book might interest you as well.

Lynn S. (lsuth) - ,
Date Posted: 6/15/2008 12:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2008
Posts: 48
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I would think that the Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett could be considered part of this. It's about the art of building  cathedrals.

Date Posted: 6/15/2008 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Tracy Chavalier has a few books about paintings, sculpture and art. 

Susan Vreeland also writes about paintings/painters. She wrote Girl in Hiacynth Blue, THe Passion of Artemesia and Luncheon of the Boating Party. 

Hailey Lind has a contemporary mystery series that takes place in the art world.

Last Edited on: 6/15/08 10:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/4/2008 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 173
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"Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling" Ross King

also wrote, but I haven't read: "Brunelleschi's Dome"


Date Posted: 7/4/2008 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2007
Posts: 3,272
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Irving Stone's  The Agony and the Ecstasy could be considered this genre.  it's a fictionaliezed version of Michaelangelo's life.  It was a wonderful read...

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
Posts: 188
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I'm so glad someone mentioned Girl in Hyacinth Blue! I love this one so much I won't post it :-)

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 8:16 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2006
Posts: 22
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The Flanders Panel, by Arturo Perez-Reverte.  One of my favorite ever books.

Date Posted: 7/7/2008 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2008
Posts: 7
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Lust for Life by Irving Stone is a good one.

Subject: Art History Mystery
Date Posted: 7/7/2008 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 349
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I have just read my first Iain Pears book, the Raphael Affair.  I liked it very much, and even though it is set in modern times, there is a great deal of history.  The central character is a graduate student in art history and most of the story is set in Rome, London, and other parts of Italy.  The chief detective of the Art Thefts Division in Rome and his fabulous assistant Flavia are interesting characters.  This is not the first book in the series, but I don't think it mattered. Good story and I have more on my WL.


Date Posted: 7/7/2008 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2005
Posts: 295
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I, Mona Lisa - Jeanne Kalogridis

The Last  Van Gogh -  Alyson Richman

Leonardo's Swans - Karen Essex

Portrait of an Unknown Woman - Vanora Bennett



Date Posted: 7/13/2008 8:23 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2007
Posts: 17
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I wholeheartedly second The Flanders Panel.  It's about a fictional work of art, but described so clearly, you can almost see it.  

Date Posted: 7/13/2008 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2005
Posts: 1,592
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The Passion of Artemisia.....there are 3 copies available in the system.  I really enjoyed this book mostly because it is about a female artist in a time when women were not thought to be talented enough to produce great art.

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 550
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I think Tulip Fever also had some interesting art history in it.


Date Posted: 7/16/2008 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,062
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I just took The Forger's Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century
by Edward Dolnick out of the library.  I'll have to let you know how it is.