Developing an interest in art goes beyond possessing vintage collectables and flaunting them on the walls of your house. Any art expert would always recommend that you attain a deeper understanding of every aspect of the artwork and its artist.

While there are a plethora of sources that you can refer to in order to enhance your artistic knowledge, one of the most effective means for doing so is by reading books. These books range across diverse areas of art, helping you to attain a holistic understanding.

Curated below is a list of recommended books from some of the most popular genres of art. Reading these books will ensure that you gain deeper insights about your favourite pieces of art, thus helping you to interpret them better.

 Book Club What to Read About Art

Art Movements

Throughout the course of history, art has evolved dynamically to take its current shape. These changes can be reassessed by categorizing the time periods as distinct art movements, each of which was a representation of the social, cultural, and political environment of that time.

Therefore, it is paramount to study the different art movements such as Renaissance, Impressionism, and Neo-Classical Art among others. Reading about these movements will help you to learn about the minute details that differentiate each of these styles from one another.

Some of the recommended books that you can read about this subject include Neoclassicism (Phaidon Art and Ideas) by David Irwin and The Northern Renaissance by Jeffery Chips Smith. If you are scouting for a book with a more political bent, then you can read On Literature and Art by Karl Marx.

History of Art

History of Art

The various art movements collectively shape the history of the development of art. While each movement focuses on a particular period, the actual history of art starts from its origin story, going as far as the history of humankind itself.

If you are interested in learning about the ancient history of art and culture, then it is recommended that you read books that cover these topics more broadly. This will help you to trace a journey of the development of art and thereafter define its current form.

The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich is a great book to explore the development of art in prehistoric times. Additionally, you can read The Brilliant History of Color in Art by Victoria Finlay if you are curious about the artistic expression of creativity through colours.

Different Genres in Art

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While reading about the history of art and the various art movements, you will also come across the evolution of several distinct genres in art that have evolved over the course of time. You might be familiar with some of them such as portraits, still life, abstract, and others.

These diverse genres substantiate the popular belief that anything and everything can be art if it is viewed from the lens of an artist. Furthermore, each of these genres is open to multiple interpretations, and reading about them will help you to analyze the paintings better.

For instance, if you are interested to learn more about still life paintings, you can read Still Life: A History by Sybille Ebert-Schiffer. Similarly, if you wish to study landscape art, a good recommendation would be Landscape Painting Now: From Pop Abstraction to New Romanticism by Barry Schwabsky.

Know about the Artist

Now that you have attained a fair idea about the splendid pieces of art and their historical journeys, it is equally important that you know about the masterminds behind these masterpieces. In doing so, you can read books written about the respective artists.

Generally, you have two choices while selecting the right book to read with respect to the artists and painters. You can either choose to read their biographies, or you can even read specially curated compilations of their work.

For example, if you wish to indulge in a biographical account of the famous painter Leonardo da Vinci’s life, a good book to read would be Leonardo by Martin Kemp. In case you wish to read an in-depth analysis of his work, you can read Leonardo da Vinci: A Psychological Study of an Infantile Reminiscence by Sigmund Freud.

The Art Market

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Most art enthusiasts keep a close eye on the art market and the sale of artworks so that they can invest in their favourite pieces. However, it is essential that one has a basic knowledge about the existing scenarios of the art market so that one can make wise purchasing decisions.

One way of attaining insightful details about the art market is to be in constant touch with the other members of the art community. However, the detailed analysis that you will find in books will help understand the art market more accurately.

Often deemed as one of the must-read books for all art enthusiasts, ‘From Manet to Manhattan: The Rise of Modern Art Market’ by Peter Watson is a great book that you can invest in. A similar book along the same lines as ‘The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art’ by Don Thompson.

The Bottom Line

Reading about art and its myriad aspects is a preliminary requirement for any art enthusiast who truly wishes to delve deeper into the subject. Moreover, you can utilize knowledge effectively to make the best purchases from the 1st Art Gallery, a trustworthy website from where you can purchase authentic reproductions of your favourite paintings.

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