Lives of the artists
Three recent books take readers inside the lives and times of noted painters.
Grant Wood: A Life (Knopf) by R. Tripp Evans is a revelatory biography of the 20th century artist who is best known for painting the iconic American Gothic, but whose carefully constructed public image hid a secret life that shaped his work.
Van Gogh's Letters: The Mind of the Artist in Paintings, Drawings and Words, 1875-1890 (Black Dog & Leventhal), edited by H. Anna Suh, is a lovely and fascinating combination of many of the great Dutch artist's works with translations of his letters.
Young Michelangelo: The Path to the Sistine (Vendome) by John T. Spike is a biography by an art historian of the Renaissance master that focuses on the extraordinary accomplishments — and charismatic power — of his early life.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor