759. Books on the history, geographic treatment, and biography in painting
Thomas S. Buechner Norman Rockwell, Artist and Illustrator, 1970.
Norman Rockwell was known for his 20th-century cover art for the Saturday Evening Post. Brooklyn Museum director Thomas S. Buechner showcases the artist who captured ordinary Americans amidst great societal upheaval.
Edward Dolnick The Forger’s Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century, 2008.
During World War II, a mediocre Dutch painter set out to con Hermann Goering, one of Nazi Germany’s most hated leaders, into buying forged paintings of Johannes Vermeer originals. His scam worked for seven years. Edward Dolnick’s retelling of this riveting story is so masterful that it rivals wartime thrillers.
Georges Duby and Guy Lobrichon The History of Paris in Painting, 2009.
When many people think of Paris, they think of art and artists. This book narrates the city’s history through the eyes of the artists it has sheltered. Over 300 illustrations show Paris from the medieval period to its modern skyline.
James A. Ganz and Richard Kendall The Unknown Monet: Pastels and Drawings, 2007.
Claude Monet downplayed the sketches and drawings behind his famous paintings to present an image of effortless creation. But in truth, James Ganz and Richard Kendall reveal he was a master of pastel and graphic art.
Deborah Heiligman Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers, 2017.
Using the information contained in 658 letters from Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo, Deborah Heliigman writes this touching story for children about the friendship between two men.
April Higashi, ed. Jerry Garcia: The Collected Artwork, 2005.
Jerry Garcia, the well-known musician from The Grateful Dead, was also a visual artist. In this book, over 100 full-color images of his various works are presented, along with photographs, essays, and interviews about him by celebrities, family members, and friends.
Ross King Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling, 2003.
Pope Julius II commissioned the famed sculptor Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, despite the artist’s lack of experience in painting. Ross King captures Michelangelo’s struggle to complete the work against various obstacles, including ill-health and challenges from a younger artist named Raphael.
Franz Meyer Marc Chagall, 1963.
While this book can’t be obtained cheaply, it is densely illustrated with Chagall’s earlier works, only missing the ones of the last years of his life. It is also one of the most detailed and well-respected accounts of the artist’s life.
For more information on the Further Reading series, see Further Reading: Start Here.