50 Books to Inspire Artists of All Kinds

Today marks the release of one of the most long-awaited novels in recent memory: Donna Tartt’s third novel, the glorious, sprawling, Dickens-esque romp The Goldfinch. The book is backboned by its eponymous painting, and much concerned with art of all kinds, so to celebrate its release, and to suggest a little artistic inspiration for those who’ve already read it (or will have in about three days), we’ve put together a list of 50 books for artists: to inspire, to entertain, to shake up the system. Some of these books are about visual art, some are visual art in themselves, some just strike us as the kind of thing that might keep an artist up at night. Check them out after the jump, and add any we’ve missed to the list in the comments.


The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

Tartt’s long-awaited third novel is a fat, frolicking masterpiece that centers around the disappearance of a certain painting — but probes art of all kinds, from furniture restoration to music to, yes, painting, asking questions about what it means to humanity and what humanity means to it. Plus, you’ve got to meet Boris.