A survey of the artist in fiction that explores the development of literary archetypes for art and artists in novels, poetry, theatre and film.  The anthology traces a chronology and context of art in fiction to examine the perception of the artist as magician – bohemian – outsider – visionary – courtier – businessman – or good-for-nothing. The texts present a literary perspective on the role and character of art and artists within the genres of Realism, Naturalism, Fantasy, Science-Fiction and Magic Realism. They observe the life and activity of the artist and the milieu of the studio, atelier, salon, exhibitions, galleries, dealers, art fairs and collectors. The anthology presents the concepts of of Ut pictura poesis, ekphrasis, the Künstlerroman, and l’art pour l’art that define the role of art in literatureThe depiction of the character of the artist by novelists provides an insight and understanding into the social position and activity of the artist through an alternative history of art.

Presentation: The Literary Construction of the Artist in the Novel from the Künstlerroman to the Contemporary


Wilhelm Heinse, 1746-1803 Ardinghello und die glückseligen Inseln, 1787 Ardinghello and the Blessed Isles, 1787

J W von Goethe, 1749-1832 Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, 1795/96, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship


Honoré de Balzac, 1799-1850 Le Chef-d’oeuvre inconnu, 1831, The Unknown Masterpiece

Henri Murger, 1822-1861 Scènes de la vie de bohème, 1847–49

Gustave Flaubert, 1821-1880 L’Éducation Sentimentale, 1869

George Moore, 1852-1933       A Modern Lover, 1883

J-K Huysmans, 1848-1907 A Rebours, 1884, Against Nature

Émile Zola, 1840-1902 L’Oeuvre, 1886, The Masterpiece

Oscar Wilde, 1856-1900          The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890

George du Maurier, 1834-1896   Trilby, 1894


Alfred Jarry, 1873-1907 Les Problèmes du FaustrolI, 1911

Raymond Roussel, 1877-1933 Impressions d’Afrique, 1910  + Locus Solus, 1914

Marcel Proust, 1871-1922 A la Recherche du temps perdu, 1913-1927

W. Somerset Maugham, 1874-1965 The Moon and Sixpence, 1919

Vladimir Nabakov, 1899-1977 Venetsianka, 1924, La Veneziana

Virginia Woolf, 1882-1941        To the Lighthouse, 1927

Henry Miller, 1891-1980           Tropic of Cancer, 1934

Samuel Beckett, 1906-1989      Watt, 1942-45, published 1953

Joyce Cary, 1888- 1957            The Horse’s Mouth, 1944

Alberto Moravia, 1907-1990 La noia, 1960, The Empty Canvas

John Bratby, 1928-1992              Breakdown, 1960

J.G. Ballard, 1930-2009             The Cloud Sculptors of Coral D, 1967 +  Vermilion Sands, 1971

José Saramago, 1922-2010 Manual de pintura e caligrifia, 1976,  Manual of Painting & Calligraphy

Georges Perec, 1936-1982 La Vie mode d’emploi 1979, Life : A User’s Manual

Serge Gainsbourg, 1928-1991 Evguénie Sokolov: a parabolic tale, 1980

W G Sebald. 1944-2001 The Emigrants (Die Ausgewanderten), 1992 The Emigrants (Max Ferber)

Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1922-2008 / René Magritte, 1898-1967 La Belle Captive, 1995

Will Self, 1961                           Great Apes, 1997 + Dorian, an Imitation, 2002

Sophie Calle, 1953                   Double Game, 1999 with the participation of Paul Auster

Michel Houllebecq, 1956 La carte et le territoire, 2010, The Map and the Territory