Book Club

The Art Newspaper’s Book Club shines a light on art books in their myriad forms and brings you exclusive extracts, interviews and recommendations from leading art world figures. Sign up to our monthly newsletter above

Missing Mona Lisa: the story behind the 1911 theft of Leonardo’s masterpiece

The author of a new book tells us why it was stolen and how Picasso got embroiled in the scandal

Ultimate reading lists

What is the art world reading?

Interviews with writers

Features

Paper, politics and poetry: why artists’ books from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia deserve a closer look

British Museum show and book by Venetia Porter tap into rich seam of works by non-Western artists

The publisher that promised ‘art for all’: a potted history of Phaidon as it celebrates its centenary

The vice-president Deborah Aaronson tells us how the company got some help from Albert Einstein and why eBooks are not necessarily the future of art publishing

How almost meeting Alberto Giacometti the week he died inspired a new biography

A 60-year “obsession” began when Michael Peppiatt set out for Paris with a letter of introduction from Francis Bacon

Book extracts

In Pictures

Book Clubfeature

Why Anthony van Dyck was summoned to paint a recently deceased noblewoman

This extract from a new book about works in the Dulwich Picture Gallery by Helen Hillyard and Jennifer Scott reveals the story behind the artist's 1663 portrait of Lady Digby

Helen Hillyard and Jennifer Scott. With an introduction by José da Silva

An expert's guide to Frans Hals: five must-read books on the Dutch Old Master

All you ever wanted to know about Hals, from an 18th-century biography to a 1994 novel of the artist's “lost diaries”—selected by the Rijksmuseum curator Friso Lammertse

An expert's guide to Sandro Botticelli: four must-read books on the Florentine painter

All you ever wanted to know about Botticelli, from a monumental monograph of 1908 to a dynamic account of the artist’s workshop practices—selected by the curator Furio Rinaldi

Book Clubinterview

Caroline Campbell on the ways in which cities have shaped art history

The director of the National Gallery of Ireland provides an alternative view of the history of art in her new book

Book Clubfeature

Tackling misconceptions around Pauline Boty—new publication evaluates late artist's contribution to British Pop art

A tragic figure whose 'promise went mostly unfulfilled', her legacy is now being revisited afresh

The top art books of 2023—chosen by The Art Newspaper’s book team

There is something for every art lover among our pick of the publications—from a forgotten 17th-century painter to a lively history of dyes

An expert’s guide to Mark Rothko: five must-read books on the Abstract Expressionist

All you ever wanted to know about Rothko, from the artist's own writings to the most complete study of his famous Seagram Murals

An expert’s guide to Lee Miller: five must-read books on the American photographer

All you ever wanted to know about Miller, from a biography and collection of love letters to a book of her recipes—selected by the curator Martin Pel

Book Clubinterview

How Claude Monet battled his own temperament and why the women in his life were ‘fundamental’ to his art

The art critic Jackie Wullschläger’s talks to us about her new book, the first major biography of the French Impressionist written in English

An expert’s guide to Paula Rego: six must-read books on the Portuguese-British artist

All you ever wanted to know about Rego, from the best catalogues to a behind-the-scenes dive into her studio—selected by her son Nick Willing

Book Clubinterview

Coco Fusco on her new monograph, her activism and why she remains sceptical of the art world

The artist also discusses her “meditation on death”, a film shot around and above Hart Island in the US

An expert’s guide to Roy Lichtenstein: five must-read books on the American Pop artist

All you ever wanted to know about Lichtenstein, from an encyclopaedic career survey to a collection of his unexpectedly witty mirror paintings—selected by the art dealer Irving Blum

Book Clubfeature

‘We never even bid one dollar’: Sheikha Al-Mayassa discusses Salvator Mundi and controversy around Damien Hirst’s foetus works in new book

An extract from a new publication about collectors by Dani Levinas features rare insights from the chair of Qatar Museums

Book Clubinterview

The Redstone Press founder Julian Rothenstein explains the benefits of being a small publisher and why he has cut back on fonts

The designer and editor also reveals the famous writers he will be collaborating with for the next editions of his popular diary series

Book Clubinterview

The co-founder of luxury art publisher Assouline on why its books ‘are really haute couture’ and how they will ‘never’ go digital

Prosper Assouline also tells us about doing everything in-house and how 80% of a book is what is on the outside

Nine artists recommend their favourite books for summer

From dystopian biography and intelligent plants to “monstrous mothers” and the underwater world, avid readers share their top tips

Compiled by Gareth Harris and José da Silva
Book Clubinterview

From self-portraits and smiles to screams: creating a compendium of art ‘firsts’

The writer and art historian Nick Trend tells us how he chose the art for his new book and why such choices can often be subjective

Book Clubfeature

Purple-nosed dogs, a haemorrhoid ‘cure’ and a sunken fleet: a history of dyes as colourful as its subject

Four excerpts from a book by Lauren MacDonald exploring the myths and origins of familiar colours

Lauren MacDonald. With an introduction by José da Silva
Book Clubreview

Q&A: Jeremy Deller tells us about demystifying his work and why he had to ‘interfere’ with his new book at the last minute

The UK artist explains the thought process behind the publication and the joy of “putting in crazy chapter headings”

The art of fiction: how Salvador Dalí’s Toreador inspired my crime novel

A story set in Barcelona plays with the "mirror image" aspects of the Spanish artist's work