75 books like Titian's Boatman

By Victoria Blake,

Here are 75 books that Titian's Boatman fans have personally recommended if you like Titian's Boatman. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Night Portrait: A Novel of World War II and Da Vinci's Italy

Nancy Cole Silverman Author Of The Navigator's Daughter

From my list on women of WW2 and their untold stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to travel, and I’m always interested in the history of where I visit, and what unusual and little known stories I might pick up. I spent twenty-five years working in news and talk radio and I suppose that’s why my fingers itch to get to a keyboard when I hear of an event or someone interesting that I’d like to meet on the pages of one of my books. These days it’s where I spend most of my time, crafting mysteries both national and international and always with sense of suspense, and for good measure, a little whimsey.   

Nancy's book list on women of WW2 and their untold stories

Nancy Cole Silverman Why did Nancy love this book?

When it comes to female heroism and the ultimate sacrifice to save not only lives but those cultural icons that herold times past, I have to say Laura Morelli’s The Night Portrait is top of my list.

Morelli successfully blends two timelines 500 years apart. A 16-year-old girl is mistress to the Duke of Millan and poses for Leonardo da Vinci, in hopes of securing her future.

Five hundred years later, as World War 2 breaks out, another young woman is charged with securing her future by agreeing to see da Vinci’s painting, now in the hands of a Nazi war criminal, is successfully transferred to an American soldier working with the Monuments Men. Security. War. Death. Destruction. Morelli has written it all.

Whether it was 500 years ago or today, Morelli has penned a novel of man’s basic need for peace and security in order to thrive, and of…

By Laura Morelli,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Night Portrait as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Historical fiction at its best' Reader review

The Tattooist of Auschwitz meets Girl with a Pearl Earring in this gripping, dual-timeline historical novel about one of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous paintings and the woman who fought to save it from the Nazis.

'Simply a masterpiece... Fans of Kristin Hannah's Nightingale and Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See will delight in this epic novel' Lori Nelson Spielman

Between 1939 and 1943, the Nazis attempted to steal every known painting by Leonardo Da Vinci, imprisoning the original owners or worse. This is the story of the most infamous of…


Book cover of The Art Forger

Elisabeth M. Lee Author Of Young PRB: A Novel of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

From my list on artists by non-artists.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a history major and artist I noticed a style of illustrations and paintings that popped up in history books, novels, and poetry collections. I found that the paintings and drawings were just scratching the surface. The lives and struggles of the artists known as Pre-Raphaelites were just as intriguing as the art. I have traveled to the many locations that the Pre-Raphaelites frequented to follow in their footsteps. I've even tried to copy their wet white painting style and was awed by the patience they must have had. I appreciate many art styles and enjoy being transported into the lives of the artists by authors as interested in art and history as I am. 

Elisabeth's book list on artists by non-artists

Elisabeth M. Lee Why did Elisabeth love this book?

Art forgery has always fascinated me. The idea that you can create a 'new' work by an old master and then, maybe, get away with it. Claire is a struggling artist whose one chance at fame had been stolen by a lover. Reduced to painting reproductions of famous paintings for clients to hang in their home she is approached by an art dealer to secretly forge a Degas painting. The money is good enough to silence her scruples and when the painting arrives she immediately recognizes that it is one of the paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. Already she is having doubts but after beginning her study of the painting she suspects that it, too, is a forgery. Forged art has never been so compelling.

By B.A. Shapiro,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Art Forger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Almost twenty-five years after the infamous art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - still the largest unsolved art theft in history - one of the stolen Degas paintings is delivered to the Boston studio of a young artist. Claire Roth has entered into a Faustian bargain with a powerful gallery owner by agreeing to forge the Degas in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But as she begins her work, she starts to suspect that this long-missing masterpiece - the very one that had been hanging at the Gardner for one hundred years - may…


Book cover of The Art Whisperer

Jennifer S. Alderson Author Of The Lover's Portrait

From my list on amateur sleuths searching for lost art.

Why am I passionate about this?

Europe’s finest masterpieces drew me from Seattle, Washington to the Netherlands, where I earned a master’s degree in art history. During my study, the restitution of artwork that had been looted during WWII was a hot topic, and one that deeply fascinated me. Ultimately, my classes and work for several Dutch cultural institutions inspired me to write my series of art history mysteries.

Jennifer's book list on amateur sleuths searching for lost art

Jennifer S. Alderson Why did Jennifer love this book?

Alix London is the spunky lead character in Charlotte Elkins’ four-novel-long series of art mysteries. Alix is an art restorer with a sordid past, who is helping a rich Seattle businesswoman build up an art collection. The Art Whisperer is a fantastic story about forgeries, restoration, museum politics, and murder. Elkins is able to describe the art world in such a way that even those not interested in art history would enjoy this book and series. 

By Charlotte Elkins, Aaron Elkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art Whisperer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When art conservator Alix London spots a forgery, she knows trouble will follow. So she's understandably apprehensive when her connoisseur's eye spots something off about a multimillion-dollar Jackson Pollock painting at Palm Springs's Brethwaite Museum-her current employer.

Alix is already under fire, the object of a vicious online smear campaign. Now the Brethwaite's despicable senior curator, obsessed with the "maximization of monetized eyeballs," angrily refuses to decommission the celebrated Pollock piece. But it's only when a hooded intruder attacks Alix in her hotel room that the real trouble begins. And when FBI Special Agent Ted Ellesworth-with whom Alix had inadvertently,…


Book cover of Old Scores

Jennifer S. Alderson Author Of The Lover's Portrait

From my list on amateur sleuths searching for lost art.

Why am I passionate about this?

Europe’s finest masterpieces drew me from Seattle, Washington to the Netherlands, where I earned a master’s degree in art history. During my study, the restitution of artwork that had been looted during WWII was a hot topic, and one that deeply fascinated me. Ultimately, my classes and work for several Dutch cultural institutions inspired me to write my series of art history mysteries.

Jennifer's book list on amateur sleuths searching for lost art

Jennifer S. Alderson Why did Jennifer love this book?

No list about mysteries involving missing art can exclude Aaron Elkins! He is the author of several art history mystery novels revolving around a museum professional searching for artwork lost during World War II. Old Scores is no exception. This borderline cozy mystery novel is a clever art history mystery about forgeries, the worth and perception of art, and what some will do to 'make it' in the art world. 

By Aaron Elkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Old Scores as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A notorious French art dealer is murdered in this "thoroughly entertaining" mystery by the Edgar Award-winning author of the Gideon Oliver series (Kirkus Reviews).

It is a headline-making story: the discovery of a previously unknown Rembrandt. Rene Vachey, the iconoclastic art dealer who claims to have uncovered it, wants to make a gift of it to the Seattle Art Museum, but curator Chris Norgren is wary. Vachey is notorious in art circles for perpetrating scandalous shams; not for profit but for the sheer fun of embarrassing the elite and snobbish "experts" of the art establishment. And thanks to the web…


Book cover of The Plundered Past: The Traffic in Art Treasures

Kaaron Warren Author Of The Grief Hole

From my list on stolen art.

Why am I passionate about this?

Shirley Jackson award-winner Kaaron Warren published her first short story in 1993 and has had fiction in print every year since. She was recently given the Peter McNamara Lifetime Achievement Award and was Guest of Honour at World Fantasy 2018, Stokercon 2019 and Geysercon 2019.  She has also been Guest of Honour at Conflux in Canberra and Genrecon in Brisbane.

She has published five multi-award winning novels (Slights, Walking the Tree, Mistification, The Grief Hole and Tide of Stone) and seven short story collections, including the multi-award winning Through Splintered Walls. Her most recent short story collection is A Primer to Kaaron Warren from Dark Moon Books. Her most recent novella, Into Bones Like Oil (Meerkat Press), was shortlisted for a Shirley Jackson Award and the Bram Stoker Award, winning the Aurealis Award. Her stories have appeared in both Ellen Datlow’s and Paula Guran’s Year’s Best anthologies.

Kaaron's book list on stolen art

Kaaron Warren Why did Kaaron love this book?

This fascinating book not only looks at art stolen by thieves, but also at the business of art museums and what constitutes moral collection. It was written in 1973, so things have changes drastically as far as how we perceive where a treasure belongs, but Meyer already argues for the return of the so-called Elgin Marbles, for example. He has a brilliant table at the end, listing major art thefts 1911-1972 and including comments, all of which deserve a story of their own. For example: 

1953, Rodin bronze, stolen by a student who wanted to “live with it”. 

1959, Daumier painting, in the pocket of a suitcase that was stolen from a train. 

1971, Titian “Holy Conversation”, recovered after dramatic car chase. Thieves also drank communion wine. 

By Karl Ernest Meyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Plundered Past as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We sell Rare, out-of-print, uncommon, & used BOOKS, PRINTS, MAPS, DOCUMENTS, AND EPHEMERA. We do not sell ebooks, print on demand, or other reproduced materials. Each item you see here is individually described and imaged. We welcome further inquiries.


Book cover of Painting as an Art

Gary Kemp Author Of What is this thing called Philosophy of Language?

From my list on those interested in language itself.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a philosopher of language (and of art) and have been for 30+ years. Why philosophy of language? Well, it encourages a certain salutary kind of self-consciousness—which is extremely valuable to philosophy—and facilitates greater rigor. But it only got going some one hundred and twenty years ago. So it's modern(ish) as well as deep.  And whereas it might seem a narrow slice of the philosophical pie, it isn't; it seems to provide fruitful ways of thinking for almost any philosophical subject. For example, rather than 'What is X?', we ask 'What do we mean by "X"?'; a subtle difference perhaps but the change in perspective might be a key.

Gary's book list on those interested in language itself

Gary Kemp Why did Gary love this book?

I have loved painting since I was a boy.

Wollheim teaches that this is largely, if tacitly, a philosophical interest, in particular, an interest in philosophy in mind, depth psychology, and meaning. That is why pictures fascinate us in the way they do. It is the very opposite of deconstructionism; the facts of history, artistic intention, psychoanalysis, and perception make something urgently real out of painting.  

By Richard Wollheim,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Painting as an Art as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the twentieth century's most influential texts on philosophical aesthetics

Painting as an Art is acclaimed philosopher Richard Wollheim's encompassing vision of how to view art. Transcending the traditional boundaries of art history, Wollheim draws on his three great passions-philosophy, psychology, and art-to present an illuminating theory of the very experience of art. He shows how to unlock the meaning of a painting by retrieving-almost reenacting-the creative activity that produced it. In order to fully appreciate a work of art, Wollheim argues, critics must bring a much richer conception of human psychology than they have in the past. This…


Book cover of Women in the Picture: What Culture Does with Female Bodies

Christine Lai Author Of Landscapes

From my list on art and the ways of seeing.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Italo Calvino writes that “we can distinguish between two types of imaginative processes, one that begins with words and ends with the visual image, and another that begins with the visual image and ends with its verbal expression.” All of my writing projects begin with the visual image. It is difficult for me to verbalize what precisely about art that captivates me. But when I stand in front of certain artworks, I feel a magnetic pull, and something in the piece—the brushstrokes, the colors, the materiality—compels me to write something in response to it.

Christine's book list on art and the ways of seeing

Christine Lai Why did Christine love this book?

This well-researched and lucidly written book, by art historian Catherine McCormack, traces the representation of women throughout the history of Western art.

McCormack examines a wide range of images featuring female figures—from paintings by Old Masters to contemporary advertising—and pays close attention to the way in which these images betray deep-seated stereotypes about women and contribute to the objectification of female bodies.

This book was indispensable to my research for my book, especially the sections on the aestheticizing of sexual violence in paintings and sculptures. 

By Catherine McCormack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women in the Picture as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Venus, maiden, wife, mother, monster-women have been bound so long by these restrictive roles, codified by patriarchal culture, that we scarcely see them. Catherine McCormack illuminates the assumptions behind these stereotypes whether writ large or subtly hidden. She ranges through Western art-think Titian, Botticelli, and Millais-and the image-saturated world of fashion photographs, advertisements, and social media, and boldly counters these depictions by turning to the work of women artists like Morisot, Ringgold, Lacy, and Walker, who offer alternative images for exploring women's identity, sexuality, race, and power in more complex ways.


Book cover of The Tree

Leopoldine Prosperetti Author Of Woodland Imagery in Northern Art, c. 1500 - 1800: Poetry and Ecology

From my list on the woodlands before the Industrial Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am not a naturalist but consider myself a practitioner of ”lyrical naturalism.” My interest is in the descriptions of nature by poets and artists in previous centuries. The dream is to inspire people to look at the natural environment through the lens of art and poetry rather than the somewhat dry frameworks of botany. My great hero is John Ruskin, a British writer whose lyrical prose has never stopped enchanting its readers. I was very happy to publish a book of essays titled Woodland Imagery in Northern Art, c. 1500-1800: Poetry and Ecology. I hope that its richly illustrated essays will inspire readers to look at the environment with renewed wonder. 

Leopoldine's book list on the woodlands before the Industrial Revolution

Leopoldine Prosperetti Why did Leopoldine love this book?

This booklet is thin, smaller than a kindle, small enough to fit in an outer pocket or any small bag. I bought my copy in 2011 and ever since I have given copies of the booklet as a present to those who would connect with his ideas about trees. He wants us to forget the trimmed apple trees of his father and urges us to fall in love with the overgrown trees in a scrap of ancient woods in the English countryside. He hated Victorian botanists for their passion for naming and classification. He sounded like a heretic when he takes on Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), the Swedish botanist, who continues to be famous for the binomial system for naming all the plants in the Vegetable Kingdom.

He actually takes his readers to Uppsala, the university town in Sweden where Linnaeus was a professor, to underscore what he calls the “bitter…

By John Fowles,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Fowles' writing life was dominated by trees. From the orchards of his childhood in suburban Essex,to the woodlands of wartime Devon, to his later life on the Dorset coast, trees filled his imagination and enriched his many acclaimed and best-selling novels.Told through his lifelong relationship with trees, blending autobiography, literary criticism, philosophy and nature writing, The Tree is a masterly, powerful work that laid the literary foundations for nature-as-memoir, a genre which has seen recent flourishings in Roger Deakin's Wildwood, Richard Mabey's Nature Cure, Robert Macfarlane's The Old Ways and Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk.As lyrical and precise…


Book cover of Veneziaenigma: Thirteen Centuries of Chronicles, Mysteries, Curiosities and Extraordinary Events Poised Between History and Myth

Meredith Small Author Of Inventing the World: Venice and the Transformation of Western Civilization

From my list on Venice (non-guidebooks).

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an anthropologist who became attached to Venice after spending time in Italian language school there and returning over and over, often staying for months. What tourists see is the superficial beauty of the city. But Venice is a place of incredible depth and complexity, both historically and today. During my many visits, I began to hear (on the street) and read (in museums) of the many inventions that happened in Venice. I soon started making a list and, with additional reading, this list grew to 220 inventions—such as quarantine and the paperback book—and realized how much we owe to Venice for how we navigate the world today.

Meredith's book list on Venice (non-guidebooks)

Meredith Small Why did Meredith love this book?

Toso Fei is a Venetian author who writes about the quirks and mysteries of Venice. He has several books about ghost stories, strange events, and inventions. All his books are great because he not only writes well but is knowledgeable as only an insider can be.

By Alberto Toso Fei,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Veneziaenigma as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Unusual book


Book cover of The World of Venice

Kenneth R. Bartlett Author Of The Smithsonian Guide to Essential Italy: The Great Courses

From my list on Venice.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first encounter with Venice was as a PhD student consulting the state archives in the former monastery attached to the basilica of the Frari, a place redolent of the history and culture of the city, lined with the tombs of doges. This inspired me to learn more about this improbable city, a curiosity that has never waned. Since then, I have visited the city more times than I can count, taking students, cultural tours, and visiting my many friends. Consequently, I was invited to produce my Essential Italy for Smithsonian Journeys and later their first virtual reality tour of the city. I can never tire of Venice nor completely know it.

Kenneth's book list on Venice

Kenneth R. Bartlett Why did Kenneth love this book?

The greatest travel writer of her generation (she died in November of 2020) produced a popular introduction to the city, mixing fact and story in her uniquely engaging style. It is a book that rivals Honour’s guide but focuses more on the patterns and rituals of life in Venice, linked by a profound appreciation for that unusual place, a city where the “streets are full of water”. If you like Morris, you might also be interested in her old but still engaging Venice, written when she was still James Morris.

By Jan Morris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World of Venice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fascinating exploration of the history, sights, seasons, arts, food, and people of an incomparable city. “A highly intelligent portrait of an eccentric city, written in powerful prose and enlivened by many curious mosaics of information...a beautiful book to read and to possess” (The Observer). New Foreword by the Author. Index.


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