10 Books About Art and Artists

Behind the scenes of the art world

From imagined lives of real artists to the true stories of invented ones, here are ten books that allow the reader inside the heads of megastars and unknowns, and to glimpse some of the byzantine workings of the art industry. W. Somerset Maugham’s fictive version of Paul Gauguin flees to an island paradise; Siri Hustvedt’s fictional artist launches a broadside against chauvinism in the art industry; Francis Bacon speaks with candour about how he was inspired to create some of the twentieth century’s greatest art works; and the story of the little known St Ives artist Alfred Wallis is a moving corrective to any suggestion that all artists lead a glamorous life.

Randall cover

9. Randall

Jonathan Gibbs
The Moon and Sixpence cover

10. The Moon and Sixpence

W. Somerset Maugham

List created by

Neil D.A. Stewart
Neil D.A. Stewart

Neil D. A. Stewart was born in Glasgow in 1978 and lives in London. He was educated at the University of Glasgow and holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. He is the arts editor of the online magazine Civilian and works as a freelance proofreader for Tate Publishing. His first book, The Glasgow Coma Scale, is now available from Corsair. 

Tags: art, artists