This book is perfect.Rachel Cooke

Ezra the Scribe, from the Codex Amiatinus, artist unknown, before 716 AD © Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence

The Librarian by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, c. 1566 © Skokloster Castle, Sweden / Photo: Jens Mohr

Young Girl Reading by Jean–Honoré Fragonard, c. 1769 © National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Feeling Like Reading the Next Volume, from the series ‘Landscapes and Beauties’ by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, before 1861 (Edo period) © Tokyo National Museum

Émile Zola by Édouard Manet, 1868 © Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Still Life with Bible by Vincent van Gogh, 1885 © Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

The Subjugated Reader by René Magritte, 1928, Louvre Abu Dhabi © Christie’s Images, London / Scala, Florence / ADAGP, Paris / DACS, London 2017

Hijiri with Book by Julian Opie, 2005 © Julian Opie

Follow Him by Wang Qingsong, 2010. Courtesy of the artist

Crown by Wen Wu, 2016 © Wen Wu. Courtesy Riflemaker London

David Trigg’s Reading Art: Art for Book Lovers is an enchanting compendium of artworks that celebrate books and reading through 2,000 years of art history. Featuring almost 300 artworks from museums and collections around the world, it is an inspiring homage to the written word.

A stunning survey of painting and sculpture, photography and installations, Reading Art conveys both the pervasiveness of books in art through the ages, and the wider importance of reading to creative thinking. The biggest names in art history rub shoulders with contemporary artists, inviting comparisons between works of different eras and revealing fresh visual and conceptual connections.

The captivating illustrations are supported by explanatory captions to further enhance enjoyment and understanding of the works as well as the vital role of reading and literature in the public sphere.

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David Trigg is a critic and art writer based in Bristol. He is a regular contributor to Phaidon books and has written articles and reviews for publications including Art Monthly, ArtReview, Frieze and Art Papers. He has a PhD in Art History from the University of Bristol and is a member of the International Association of Art Critics. Reading Art is published by Phaidon (hardback, £24.95).
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