Books About French Artists

The art classes I took in middle and high schools and during my university years laid the foundation for my art education. Working in and visiting art museums helped me build upon my formally-acquired knowledge. The result: I can recognize the unique style of an artist and match their name to a work I haven’t seen before. I also enjoy drawing visual parallels between styles and identifying home museums of specific works.

I’ve been presented with several opportunities to discuss my favorite artists during recent conversations. I hadn’t given much thought to the topic before and ended up talking about Claude Monet, everybody’s favorite. I appreciate Monet’s paintings as much as anyone, but he isn’t one of my favorite artists.

Now that I think about it, I prefer the works of Toulouse-Lautrec, Pissarro, Matisse, Signac, Seurat, and Caillebotte. My knowledge of these men sits very much on the surface, and I’m searching for books that reveal a little about who they were as artists in the context of their time and place.

Works Sighted

Toulouse-Lautrec (2019) // Toulouse-Lautre (2016) // Pissarro dans les ports – Rouen, Dieppe, Le Havre (2013) // Camille Pissarro (1993)

Henri Matisse: The early years in Nice, 1916-193 (1986) // Matisse (2002) // Paul Signac, 1863-1935 (2001) // Signac collectionneur (2021)

Georges Seurat: The Drawings (2007) // Seurat (2017) // Caillebotte. Peintre des extrêmes (2021) // Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye (2015)


Every October, members of the global art community commit to drawing in ink for 31 days. The Inktober movement, started by artist Jake Parker, is meant to cultivate the habit of drawing. Instead of sharing my work on social media like many participants, I plan to showcase my drawings to a small group of artists from work. We’ve taken up the challenge together.

I often engaged in process-driven art as a child. But, when I enrolled in art classes in college, I began to focus more on the content rather than the process. My professor graded my finished product, not the process that led me to it. I’ve only recently rediscovered the joy of drawing without a plan.

I find it difficult to draw from memory and need a visual. Flipping through the September 2022 issue of Town & Country, I drew/traced a collage of a few products that caught my eye. I’m actually looking forward to picking up my notebook tomorrow and turning to a fresh page of neat, little dots.

Works Sighted

Moleskine notebook (large, soft cover, dotted pages)

Uni-ball Vision Elite rollerball pen (0.5mm)

Town & Country (September 2022 issue)

Larousse unabridged French/English dictionary