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Fabulous Historical Fiction Recommendations About the French Impressionists

Below is a list of our top historical fiction recommendations about the revolutionary French impressionists and post-impressionists.

Lie on your bed or on your favorite couch & go back in time to 19th century Paris, the buzzing art center of the world. Many of these novels will transport you to the poorer neighborhoods of Paris such as Montmartre and Montparnasse. It was in these districts where many artists, poets, musicians, dancers, writers and composers from all over France and around the world lived, worked and created. These threadbare dressed artists hung out in smoke-filled cafes and bars, discussing art and sharing revolutionary artistic ideas. They all shared the same dream! They all wanted to conquer the Paris art world and become famous artists.

In these novels, you will meet these young emerging artists who were still unknown. Many of them struggled financially, bartering their artworks for rent and food. Others, like Claude Monet, Amedeo Modgiliani, Vincent Van Gogh & Paul Cezanne suffered with huge self doubt for the greater part of their lives. Some of them even died penniless.

For the majority of these artists, fame came much later on and way after they died. It seems that the art world needed time to understand and appreciate the French impressionists & their beautiful artworks. Today their paintings are worth millions!

The below affiliate links are for books that I recommend. If you make a purchase through these links I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Turn Paging Novels About Revolutionary Artists Who Broke All the Rules

Below is a comprehensive list of novels written about the French impressionism giants such as Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet & Berthe Morisot. And wonderful page turners about the post-impressionists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec, Suzanne Valadon and her son Maurice Utrillo.

All these artists shared ideas, experimented with new painting styles & started new art movements, such as fauvism, cubism and pointillism. They all rocked the traditional art world of Paris to smithereens!

Please share with me your favorite art historical fiction novel that does not appear on my list!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Our Top Historical Fiction Recommendations

A Wonderful Book Set in Paris by Stanley Meisler

Chaim Soutine Painting - One of the Jewish Immigrant Painters who came to Paris

A Fabulous Non-Fiction Book Set in Paris called: Shock­ing Paris by Stanely Meisler The Fascinating Story of the Jewish Painters in the Paris Post-Impressionism Era Shocking Paris: Sou­tine, Cha­gall and the Out­siders of Montparnasse by Stan­ley Meisler is a fabulous book set in Paris. It focuses on several Jewish artists…

A Novel about the Wife of Modigliani-Jeanne Hebuterne

A book about Modiliani's greatest love Jeanne Hébuterne

Into the Darkness Laughing – A Great Read about the Wife of Modigliani-Jeanne Hebuterne The book called: Into the Darkness Laughing focuses on the story of the common-law wife of Modigliani, Jeanne Hebuterne. It is through Jeanne Hebuterne’s eyes, that we read the story of the tragic, Italian artist Amedeo…

Irving Stone Books About Famous Artists

Irving Stone book about Camille Pissarro

Amazing Irving Stone Books about Very Famous Artists Irving Stone wrote three amazing books about the lives of famous artists: Vincent Van Gogh in Lust for Life, Michelangelo in The Agony and the Ecstasy and Camille Pissarro in Depths of Glory. In all three books, Stone aimed to stay as…

Great Historical Fiction Books about Van Gogh

Ten of the Most Famous Van Gogh Paintings

Great Historical Fiction Books about the Tragic Life of Van Gogh Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionism artist. In his lifetime, Van Gogh sold one painting only. This frustrated him and he felt that he was an absolute failure as an artist. Despite his frustration though, Van Gogh…

Francoise Gilot’s Memoir About The Artist Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso portrait of The Independent Françoise Gilot

Francoise Gilot’s Fantastic Memoir “Life With Picasso” Francoise Gilot’s memoir “Life With Picasso” is a novel of her decade-long relationship with the legendary artist, Pablo Picasso. During these years they also had two children together, Claude and Paloma. Gilot provides us with an intimate glimpse into the mind and character…

A Novel About a Muse & Artist Victorine Meurent

Victorine-Louise Meurent

Victorine Meurent – The Muse, Musician & Painter Victorine, a novel by Drema Drudge, tells the amazing story of Victorine Meurent, Edouard Manet’s favorite model. This first-person story captures a time and place from the unlikeliest of sources – the model for Manet’s “scandalous” painting, Olympia. What art historians omitted…

Historical Fiction Story – Dancing for Degas

The Historical Fiction Story: Dancing for Degas

A Wonderful Historical Fiction Story: Dancing for Degas by Kathryn Wagner “Dancing for Degas” is a wonderful historical fiction story set in Paris, during the glamorous Belle Epoque era. Behind the facade of glitz, wealth, culture and industrial growth, Paris has a sordid underbelly. It is in this era, that…

Madame Picasso – The Story of Eva Gouel

Madame Picasso - The story of Eva Gouel

Eva Gouel – Picasso’s Early Lover Madame Picasso is a wonderful art historical fiction book about Picasso and his relationship with Eva Gouel. Not only does the story capture the relationship and love story between the unlikely two, the book also transports the reader into 20th century Paris during the…

The Heart-Wrenching Van Gogh Book: Lust For Life

Art Historical Fiction Book about Van Gogh

An Amazing Van Gogh book that brings his most famous paintings to life Lust For Life by the author Irving Stone is a wonderful art historical fiction book about the fascinating and difficult life of the post-impressionism painter Vincent Willem van Gogh. The novel covers the devastatingly sad story of Vincent Van…

Wonderful Historical Fiction set in Roussillon Provence

Art Historical Fiction entitled: Lisette's List by Susan Vreeland

Susan Vreeland’s Novel “Lisette’s List” Transports you to Roussillon Provence Roussillon Provence is the setting of Susan Vreeland’s magnificent art historical fiction novel “Lisette’s List”. The book transports you into Provencal countryside during the 1930s and the gloomy years of World War Two. The author is passionate about art and…

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer

Varian Fry

The Flight Portfolio – An Incredible WW2 Story Julie Orringer writes a wonderful WW2 historical fiction book called “The Flight Portfolio”. “The Flight Portfolio” is about a real life, hardly-known hero called Varian Fry.  Fry is a young American journalist who comes from a privileged American background. While working as…

La Luministe – The Passionate Life of Berthe Morisot

Berthe Morisot Impressionism painting

A Wonderful Novel “La Luministe” by Paula Butterfield La Luministe is a historical fiction book about the ground-breaking female painter and impressionist, Berthe Morisot. The author Paula Butterfield, describes in her novel what it was like to be a female artist during the emergence of the impressionism art movement. To…

The Bridal Chair by Gloria Goldreich

The Bridal Chair by Gloria Goldreich

An Art Historical Fiction Book About Marc Chagall “The Bridal Chair” The author Gloria Goldreich tells the story of Moishe Shagal, better known as Marc Chagall and his family. Marc Chagall story is told through the eyes of the artist’s daughter, Ida, taking you through Chagall’s complicated life journey. Marc…

Vincent and Theo – Heiligman Biography

The Van Gogh brothers - Vincent left picture, Theo right picture

Vincent and Theo – A Wonderful Biography of the Van Gogh Brothers The author of Vincent and Theo, Deborah Heiligman, writes an engaging biography about the famous Van Gogh brothers. In her book, she details beautifully the brothers’ lives during the times they lived together and apart. Heiligman describes how…

The Best Non-Fiction Impressionism book by Sue Roe

Famous impressionists

A Wonderful Impressionism book called “The Private Lives of the Impressionists “ The Private Lives of the Impressionists is a wonderful impressionism book (non-fiction) about the 19th century French impressionists. The author, Sue Roe, provides you with a fascinating account of the lives of the Impressionists within the historical context…

Historical Fiction book – I Always Loved You

I Always Loved You by Robin Oliveira is a historical fiction book about the relationship between the French Impressionism painters Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas. The book immerses you into the world of the impressionists in Belle Epoque Paris in the 19th Century. Mary Cassatt, an American painter leaves conservative America…