Painted Veil

Alexander McCall Smith’s Art Book Bag

Alexander McCall Smith, the prolific author of the ‘No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’ series, picks his favourite reads about the art world.

Besides being the creator of the “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series, an author of more than 50 books (his novel The Importance of Being Seven from his “44 Scotland Street” series is out on paperback), an expert on bioethics and a professor of medical law at the University of Edinburgh, Alexander McCall Smith is also a big art fan. He picks his favourite reads that capture the excitement of that world.

David Hockney: the BiographyBy Christopher Simon Sykes

Splash! Artists have colourful lives, and this fascinating biography reveals the interesting times of this most amusing painter.

The Lost PaintingBy Jonathan Harr

Not all of us have lost paintings by Caravaggio in our parlour. But some do.

I was Vermeer: the Rise and Fall of the Twentieth Century’s Greatest ForgerBy Frank Wynne

Han van Meegeren was a skilled painter who was fed up with being derided by the critics for being old-fashioned. His solution was to paint the occasional Vermeer.

The Nature of Order: Book One: The Phenomenon of LifeBy Christopher Alexander

Christopher Alexander is an architectural visionary. This fascinating book explores the role that shape and order play in art and in our lives.

The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages ArtBy Roger Kimball

Kimball tackles the pretentious nonsense that has been spouted by critics who import their political agenda into art history. Very funny stuff: ouch!