Best Art History Books.

Today I would like to introduce you some of my favorite books involving art and art history. Some of them are good as fictions, their plot and style are brilliant, some are just wonderful answers to art riddles. But keep in mind that these answers are mere guesswork and they can mean absolutely nothing. Any of us can imagine it and create just a wonderful fairy tale about this or that piece of art. Anyway why not?

The same obviously happened to Tracy Chevalier, the author of Girl with a Pearl Earring (1999).
So the novel refers to Johannes Vermeer’s work of the same name and serves a possible way to explain who is depicted and how the painting was executed. So Chevalier was puzzled with this “ambiguous look” of unknown girl. Who was she? Why did she look exactly this way? And as Chevalier describes herself: “
Who is the model and why has she been painted? What is she thinking as she stares out at us? Are her wide eyes and enigmatic half-smile innocent or seductive? And why is she wearing a pearl earring? [] I wonder what Vermeer did to her to make her look like that”. So the novel is a possible answer to the question concerning personality of this girl. For Chevalier she is a 16-year-old maid Griet who works in Johannes Vermeer’s house. She is depicted as very calm and quiet girl. Her manners and behavior attract the artist’s attention and he finally introduces her to the intimate world of his works. The plot is pretty intricate and there is no sense to reveal it here. I recommend you to read it to immerse yourself into the world of riddles and romantic answers, attraction and tension existing between master and his maid.

Another fiction book involving art is the Art Thief by Noah Charney. As you can guess it is a detective story involving burglary of Caravaggio altarpiece in Rome, White-on-White painting by Kasimir Malevich in Paris and art piece of the National Gallery of Modern Art in London. Three thefts committed in different places actually have something in common. Even though there are still lots of white spaces in the whole story and the book is criticized as amateurish one anyway it is worth noticing here for suspenseful storyline.

Absolutely different work involving art history is a book by Andy Warhol The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B & Back Again) (1975).This book is kind of a diary of the American pop-artist and it is also kind of collage of quotes referring to fame, love, friendship, art scene, beauty, daily life, sex, success, freedom, relations and many other themes. It is easy and interesting to read. I would call it as a daily life philosophy. So here are some witty quotes by Andy Warhol I would like to share: “Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, “So what”,

My mother didn’t love me”. So what,
“I’m a success but I’m still alone”. So what,
I don’t know how I made it through all the years before I learned how to do that trick. It took a long time for me to learn it, but once you do, you never forget
”; “I suppose I have a really lose interpretation of ‘work’, because I think that just being alive is so much work at something you don’t always want to do ”. Simple and brilliant, witty and just nothing special as everything that Andy Warhol did.

Enjoy reading!

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