World Art Day: 5 Books We Love That Feature Works Of Art

Celebrate World Art Day with these five books that feature works of art in their incredible stories that are sure to keep you hooked until the final page.

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World Art Day

Happy World Art Day, fellow bookworms! Today’s a great day, as I get to talk about two of my favorite things: books and art. I personally love when an author can blend the beauty of art with a good story.

To celebrate today, I’ve decided to compile a list of five books that feature works of art, whether fictional like The Picture of Dorian Gray or real like Tracy Chevalier’s Girl With a Pearl Earring. Enjoy!

1. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

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Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray is the first book that comes to mind when I think about books with heavy art influences. Nothing beats a book about a guy that purchases eternal youth via a painting of himself at the expense of his soul. What’s a soul when you have a painting that ages while you stay young and beautiful? Even without the backdrop of World Art Day, this novel is fantastic and will always be one of my favorites.

2. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

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The Goldfinch is a story of loss, obsession and self-invention, all centered around a captivating painting. Donna Tartt’s novel of a man haunted by the loss of his mother and wrapped up in the dangerous underworld of the art industry. And, once you finish this book you can watch the recent film adaptation of the same name starring Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman and Jeffrey Wright.

3. Call Down the Hawk, Maggie Stiefvater

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Call Down the Hawk centers around Ronan Lynch, a dreamer. He can bring his dreams to life, no matter how fantastical, macabre or impossible the item- or person. If a dreamer dies, though, any living thing they dreamt up falls into an eternal sleep. Enter sweetmetals, items that can keep dreamt people awake even if their Dreamer dies. In Call Down the Hawk Ronan Lynch ventures into the seedy underworld of art dealing in search of a sweetmetal, and meets a thief who’s also a dreamer. I highly recommend this book to all Maggie Stiefvater who haven’t read this already!

4. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown

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When an elderly curator of the Louvre is murdered inside the museum, his body covered in strange symbols, symbologist Robert Langdon is on the case. Over the course of the investigation Langdon and French cryptologist Sophie Neveu discover a series of clues hidden in the paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci. I mean, you don’t really get more artsy than that in a book, do you? If you haven’t read it already, check out it this World Art Day.

5. Girl With a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier

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Tracy Chevalier’s Girl With a Pearl Earring merges fiction with history in this story of the girl who inspired Johannes Vermeer’s famous painting. I mean, who doesn’t want to be immortalized in a beautiful canvas painting by Vermeer? As long as the painting doesn’t come at the cost of your soul like Dorian Gray.

Enjoy Some Art!

Whether it’s used as a narrative tool, metaphor for youth, or emotional crutch, art speaks to everyone in many different ways- just like books. It’s why we love them! So, take World Art Day to dive into a book that merges two things we all love. Happy reading!

Want to do more? Try some of these fun activities to celebrate World Art Day!

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