I enjoy art history straight up, but I don’t mind it with a twist. Lately, I’ve stumbled upon more than one exciting new fiction read that takes you into the art world. The fine arts get plenty of non-fiction, wether they are art historical or, like the bestselling 7 Days in the Art World, sociological. Artist’s biographies are fascinating. While I might indulge in a little creative biographical fiction, Leonardo’s Muse or whathaveyou, I put those books on the shelve right above the romance novels. I can admit to another weakness though, which developed out of a passion for Agatha Christie and art.
Art heist and forgery books get me every time, and it doesn’t matter to me if they are based on real life. Clever, with the most interesting characters (when they aren’t out and out thugs) involving passion, nerve, and wiles I love these escapades. I secretly hope that if I read enough of them I’ll be able to pull off my own heist. I just finished The Art Theif’s Guide to Paris, which, if not plausible, does involve a theft from the Pompidou and a forgery, making it the best of both worlds. The Forger’s Spell : a True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century is on my list next.