Summer School 2021

The art novel


Andrew Lamprecht, curator and lecturer

In recent years, the ‘art novel’ has become a genre of its own: such novels may focus on aspecific artwork, the story behind an enigmatic sitter, the complex nature of the artist and who they portray (or those they marginalise in their ascent to fame), or even the artworld itself. This course begins its exploration of why art is so engaging in the non-visual realm of fiction with an introductory overview of the genre. Each subsequent lecture will look at two works in some detail and conclude with suggestions for further readings in a similar vein. Each lecture will be illustrated with appropriate images and artworks.



  1. A survey of the genre
  2. The person in the portrait
  3. The artist revealed
  4. The work as puzzle
  5. The art world’s fictions


This course will be offered on the Microsoft Teams platform. Participants will be sent a link.


Recommended reading (Any edition)

Atwood, M. 1988. Cat's Eye. New York: Bantam Books.

Brown, D. 2006. The Da Vinci Code. New York: Bantam.

Chevalier, T. 1999. The Girl with a Pearl Earring. New York: Dutton

Caldwell, I and Thomason, D. 2004. The Rule of Four. New York: Random House.

de Balzac, H. 2011. The Unknown Masterpiece. New York: New York Review of Books.

Haghenbeck, F.G. 2012. The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo. New York: Atria Paperbacks.

Hawthorne, N. 2008. The Marble Faun. Oxford: Oxford University Press (Oxford World Classics).

Pérez-Reverte, A. 1994. The Flanders Panel. San Diego, California: Harcourt Brace.

Smith, Z. 2006. On Beauty. London: Penguin.

Stone, I. 2015. Lust for Life. New York: Random House.

Thornton, S. 2012. Seven Days in the Art World. London: Granta Books.

Valdés, Z. 2016. The Weeping Woman. New York: Skyhorse Publishing.

Ward, K. 2012. Girl Reading. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Webb, H. 2015. Rodin’s Lover. New York: Plume Publishing.

Stewart, A. 2008. Classical Greece and the Birth of Western Art. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


Date: 11–15 January
Time: 3.00 pm