Fiction

 

As Above, So Below : A Novel of Peter Bruegel
Rudy Rucker
2003, 220 pages softcover

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With vivid depictions of 16th-century life in the Spanish-dominated Low Countries, Rudy Rucker’s fictionalized life of Bruegel draws its readers into a teeming world of politics, art, love, sin and loss. Rucker’s keen insights into Peter Bruegel’s spellbinding and politically subversive work underpin this animated, suspenseful, and affecting tale, a step up from Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (2000). Rucker’s vivid imagining of Bruegel’s trials and triumphs is set against a cutting indictment of the horrors of the Spanish occupation and Inquisition.

 

Remembering Piero: A Novel of the Early Renaissance Artist Piero della Francesca
Alice Heard Williams
2004, 256 pages softcover

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Step into quattrocentro Italy, a time and place aflame with creativity and new ideas, with renowned artist Piero della Francesca and fictional Maddalena Castellani. Characters, paintings, and locations all come alive in the well-researched and engagingly-written tale of the talented artist and the charming young woman he loves.

 

Seeking the High Yellow Note: Vincent Van Gogh in Provence, a Novel
Alive Heard Williams
2002, 212 pages hardcover

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For those who are passionate about Vincent Van Gogh, Alice Williams paints the artist’s canvasses again in words as Vincent describes the paintings to his young friend Minette, and we see Provence through the eyes of an impressionist young girl and her friendship with Vincent Van Gogh. She describes Vincent’s loneliness and failed friendship with Gauguin, and his dread of recurrent descents into madness. The events of his months in Provence are interwoven into the story of Minette Ginoux as she comes of age, finds love, marries her sweetheart and provides friendship to the man who was a tortured genius.

 

Rembrandt’s Eyes
Simon Schama
1999, 768 pages hardcover

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In Rembrandt’s Eyes, Simon Schama–the leading historical craftsman of our era, with a career-long commitment to Dutch history–succeeds with consummate skill in bringing the heroic painter of such masterpieces as The Night Watch and Portrait of Jan Six vividly to life. The surviving fragments of archival information about Rembrandt’s personal and professional history are skillfully embedded in a rich, dense tapestry of the commercial whirl and political hurly-burly of the 17th-century Low Countries.

 

The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo
Irving Stone
Reissue edition (December 1, 1996), 776 pages softcover

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Celebrating the 500th anniversary of Michelangelo’s David, New American Library releases a special edition of Irving Stone’s classic biographical novel-in which both the artist and the man are brought to life in full. A masterpiece in its own right, this novel offers a compelling portrait of Michelangelo’s dangerous, impassioned loves, and the God-driven fury from which he wrested the greatest art the world has ever known.

 

The Forest Lover
Susan Vreeland
2004, 333 pages hardcover

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It was Emily Carr (1871–1945)—like Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Kahlo—who first blazed a path for modern women artists. Overcoming the confines of late Victorian culture, Carr became a major force in modern art. Her boldly original landscapes are praised today for capturing an untamed British Columbia—and its indigenous peoples— just before industrialization would change it forever. In her latest novel, Susan Vreeland brings to life this fiercely independent and underappreciated figure. From illegal potlatches in tribal communities to prewar Paris, where her art was exhibited in the famed Salon d’Automne, Carr’s story is as arresting as it is vibrant.