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Art History Novels and Films

Department of Art


Contact Elise Smith at smithel@millsaps.edu if you have any additions to this list.


(Many of these novels are available in the Art Student Lounge, AC 322)

Archer, Jeffrey. False Impression. 2006 (mystery about a Van Gogh painting)

Banks, Oliver. The Rembrandt Panel. 1980 (art crime private investigator)

Boyle, T. C.  The Women. 2008 (novel about four women in Frank Lloyd Wright's life)

Brown, Dan. The Da Vinci Code. 2003 (murder in the Louvre)

Bundrick, Sheramy D. Sunflowers: A Novel of Vincent Van Gogh. 2009.

Burley, W.J. Wycliffe and the Guild of Nine. 2000 (murder mystery set at an artists' colony near St. Ives, England)

Byatt, A. S. The Matisse Stories. 1993 (short stories inspired by Matisse paintings)

Carey, Peter. Theft. 2006 (novel about two painters and an art fraud)

Carson, Ciaran. Shamrock Tea. 2002 (involving Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini portrait)

Cary, Joyce. The Horse's Mouth. 1944 (about a fictional painter loosely based on Augustus John)

Chessman, Harriet Scott. Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper. 2002 (novel about Mary Cassatt and her sister Lydia)

Chevalier, Tracy.  Burning Bright.  2007 (historical fiction with William Blake as a key character)

Chevalier, Tracy. Girl with a Pearl Earring. 1999 (about Vermeer and one of his models)

Chevalier, Tracy.  The Lady and the Unicorn. 2003 (novel about a family of 15th-century tapestry weavers in Brussels and their series of six Lady and the Unicorn tapestries)

Christopher, Paul.  Rembrandt's Ghost. 2007 (novel about a London auction house staffer who inherits a house in Amsterdam with a  Rembrandt painting - is it fake or real?)

_____. The Lady and the Unicorn. 2003 (novel about the making of the six medieval unicorn tapestries in the Cluny Museum, Paris)

Conklin, Tara. The House Girl. 2013 (about a 19th-century Virginia slave who was a painter)

Connolly, Sheila. Fundraising the Dead. 2010 (a museum mystery with the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society's director of development as the protagonist)

Cowell, Stephanie. Claude and Camille. 2010 (novel about Monet and Camille Doncieux)

Cullen, Lynn. The Creation of Eve. 2010 (novel about Sofonisba Anguissola)

Davenport, Will. The Painter. 2003 (novel about finding a journal related to a love affair of Rembrandt)

Davies, Robertson. What's Bred in the Bone? 1985 (about fictional artist and collector in Toronto)

Davis, Deborah. Strapless. 2003 (about John Singer Sargent's portrait of Madame X)

Diliberto, Gioia. I am Madame X. 2003 (about John Singer Sargent's portrait of Madame X)

Drakulic, Slavenka. Frida's Bed. 2008 (about Frida Kahlo, described on the jacket as "a meditation on the nature of chronic pain and creativity")

Dunant, Sarah. The Birth of Venus. 2003 (Set in 15th-century Florence, this novel is about a young woman who wants to be a painter)

Elkins, Aaron. Loot. 1999 (mystery about a retired Boston art curator)

_____. Mystery series about a curator at the Seattle Arts Museum, including Deceptive Clarity (1987), Glancing Light (1991), and Old Scores (1994)

_____. Mystery series about a forensic anthropologist, including Old Bones (1995)

Essex, Karen. Leonardo's Swans. 2006 (about Leonardo, Isabella d'Este, and Ludovico Sforza)

Essex, Karen. Stealing Athena. 2008 (historical fiction centered around Lord Elgin's wife and the removal of the marbles from the Parthenon)

Everett, Peter. The Voyages of Alfred Wallis. 2000 (novel about an early 20th-century artist in St. Ives)

Fairstein, Linda. The Bone Vault. 2003 (mystery about the murder of a curator at the Metropolitan Museum)

Finerman, Debra.  Mademoiselle Victorine. 2007 (a novel about Manet's model Victorine Meurent, also an artist herself)

Fiorato, Marina.  The Botticelli Secret. 2010 (novel about the model for Botticelli's Primavera)

Fisk, Alan. Cupid and the Silent Goddess. 2003 (fictional account of the painting of Bronzino's Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time)

Flanagan, Richard. Gould's Book of Fish. 2003 (novel about a thief, prisoner, and painter in 1830s Tasmania)

Follett, Ken. The Pillars of the Earth. 1989 (novel about the building of a medieval cathedral)

_____.  World Without End (centered on the life of a fictional 14th-century English architect)

Forbes, Leslie. Waking Raphael. 2003 (novel combining the story of a British art restorer working on a portrait by Raphael and the fictionalized events of the Italian Renaissance characters)

Frayn, Michael. Headlong. 1999 (novel about the discovery of a new Bruegel painting)

Gash, Jonathan. The Rich and the Profane. 2000 (series of art mysteries with the protagonist Lovejoy)

Harr, Jonathan. The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece. 2005 (novelistic account of actual events)

Hickey, Elizabeth.  The Painted Kiss. 2006 (a novel about Gustav Klimt, written as a memoir of his long-time companion Emilie Floge)

_____.  The Wayward Muse. 2007 (about Jane Burden, Pre-Raphaelite model and later wife of William Morris)

Hook, Philip. Innocent Eye. 2001.  According to amazon.com, "A man is found dead in a London hotel room, the only clue to his identity a polaroid of a lost Impressionist painting. A young man inherits his mother's diaries and realises her early life in France was much more eventful than he'd realised. And as the extent of the past's effect on the present becomes clear, Daniel is caught up in a web of conspiracy and betrayal that began decades ago."

Houghteling, Sara.  Pictures at an Exhibition.  2009 (family's attempt to recover art stolen during Nazi era)

Humphreys, Helen. Afterimage. 2001 (novel loosely inspired by the 19th-century photographer Julie Margaret Cameron and her relationship with her maid and model Mary Hillier)

Innes, Michael. One Man Show. 1952 (Scotland Yard investigates stolen paintings)

Kalogridis, Jeanne. I, Mona Lisa.  2006 (a drama set in 15th-century Florence about Leonardo da Vinci and the painting of the Mona Lisa)

Kidd, Chip.  The Cheese Monkeys. 2010 (novel about art students and the challenges of their drawing and graphic design classes)

Kilmer, Nicholas. Lazarus, Arise. 2001 (mystery about a medieval illumination, set in Boston) - other art mysteries by Kilmer include Dirty Linen, Man with a Squirrel, Harmony in Flesh and Black, and O Sacred Head

Lapierre, Alexandra. Artemisia. 2000 (novel about Artemisia Gentileschi)

Lester, Judy. Masterpiece of Deception. 2001 (mystery about art restoration; according to amazon.com, "Judy Lester is the pen name of Dr. Leslie Carlyle. Lester received her master's degree in Paintings Conservation at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and her PhD from the Conservation Department of the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. Originally a paintings restorer and an internationally recognized researcher of historical oil painting materials and techniques, Carlyle is the Head of Conservation at the Tate Gallery in London."

Lind, Hailey. Feint of Art.  2006. "The first in a new mystery series starring art-forger-Gone-good Annie Kincaid. Annie breaks the news to her curator ex-boyfriend Ernst: his museum's new $15 million Caravaggio is a fake. Then the janitor is killed, Ernst disappears, and a dealer makes off with several Old Master drawings. If she breaks the case using her old connections, Annie can finally pay the rent. But doing so could also draw her back into the underworld of forgers she swore she'd left behind." (amazon.com)  - also Shooting Gallery, Brush with Death, and Arsenic and Old Paint.

Lowry, Elizabeth. The Bellini Madonna. 2008 (art mystery centered on a painting of the Madonna by Giovanni Bellini)

Mahfouz, Naguib. Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth (novel about the New Kingdom Egyptian pharaoh by the Nobel Laureate Egyptian author)

Malcolm, John. Simpson's Homer. 2001 (most recent in series about an art historian & amateur detective; about a Winslow Homer)

Matton, Sylvia. Rembrandt's Whore. 2003 reprint (novel about Rembrandt's mistress Hendrickje Stoffels, told in her voice)

Mayle, Peter. Chasing Cezanne. 1998 (mystery about an art photographer and a stolen Cezanne)

McGregor, Elizabeth. The Girl in the Green Glass Mirror (about an art evaluator and a painting by the Victorian painter Richard Dadd)

McKean, James. Quattrocento. 2002 (about an art restorer at the Met, a Leonardo portrait, and the 15th-century court of Urbino)

Moggach, Deborah. Tulip Fever. 2001 (about the world of artists and tulip-merchants in 17th-century Amsterdam)

Moore, Christopher. Sacre Bleu, A Comedy d'Art. 2012 (a comedy and mystery centered on Van Gogh's death and involving many other late 19th-century artists)

Naslund, Sena Jeter. The Fountain of St. James Court: or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman. 2013 (novel-within-a-novel about Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun)

Page, Martin. The Man Who Stole the Mona Lisa (mystery about the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre)

Pears, Iain. Death and Restoration. 1996 (mystery set in Rome about a Russian icon and a supposed Caravaggio)

Pears, Iain. The Immaculate Deception. 2001 (other art mysteries by Pears include The Last Judgment, The Raphael Affair, The Titian Committee, Death and Restoration, Giotto's Hand, and The Bernini Bust)

Perez-Reverte, Arturo. The Flanders Panel. 1994 (mystery & historical novel about an art restorer and a 15th century painting)

Peters, Elizabeth. Borrower of the Night: The First Vicky Bliss Mystery. 1973 (series of five mysteries about an art historian; the others are Street of the Five Moons, Silhouette in Scarlet, Trojan Gold, and Night Train to Memphis)

Robards, Elizabeth. With Violets. 2008 (about Berthe Morisot and her relationship with Manet and others)

Robb, Peter. M: The Man Who Became Caravaggio. 2000 (reconstruction of the life of Caravaggio)

Rucker, Rudy. As Above, So Below: A Novel of Peter Bruegel. 2002.

Rushdie, Salman. The Enchantress of Florence. 2008  (set in High Renaissance Florence)

Santlofer, Jonathan. The Death Artist: A Novel of Suspense. 2002 (thriller in which the murders are staged like famous paintings)

_____. The Killing Art. 2005 (mystery about cop Kate McKinnon, who follows art clues to solve murders and art vandalism)

_____. The Killing Art. 2005 (former cop art historian investigates art vandalism)

Schwartz, Gary. Bets and Scams: A Novel of the Art World. 1996 (thriller written by an art historian, about a Dutch art dealer and a painting by the 17th-century artist Emanuel de Witte)

Shapiro, B. A. The Art Forger. 2013 (art thriller about one of the Degas paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston)

Sierra, Javier. The Secret Supper.  2007 (historical thriller about Leonardo's Last Supper)

Smith, Stephanie. Warpaint. 2012 (novel about three women artists in NYC)

Stier, Serena. Deadly Illumination: A Gilded Age Mystery. 2001 (art mystery set in 1890s New York)

Stone, Irving. The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Novel of Michelangelo. 1961.

Swan, Thomas. The Final Faberge: A Novel of Suspense. 2001 (art crime series with Scotland Yard detective; others in the series include TheCezanne Chase and The Da Vinci Deception)

Truman, Margaret. Murder in the Smithsonian. 1985.

_____. Murder at the National Gallery. 1997.

Van Adler, T. C. St. Agatha's Breast. 2001 (novel about paintings stolen from an Italian monastery)

Van de Zande, Jeff. Landscape with Fragmented Figures. 2009 (literary fiction about a contemporary artist, Ray Casper, trying to realize his own vision while simultaneously trying to understand his out-of-work, blue collar brother)

Vargas Llosa, Mario. The Way to Paradise. 2003 (novel about Gauguin and his grandmother Flora Tristan)

Vickers, Sally. Miss Garnet's Angel. 2000 (novel about an Englishwoman in Venice, an art dealer, and two art restorers) 

Vreeland, Susan. Clara and Mr. Tiffany. 2011 (fictional account of Louis Comfort Tiffany and Clara Driscoll, head of his women's division)

_____. Girl in Hyacinth Blue. 1999 (novel tracing provenance of unknown Vermeer painting; film with Glenn Close, 2003)

_____. Life Studies. 2004 (short stories based on personal lives and works of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists)

_____.  Luncheon of the Boating Party. 2007 (novel about Renoir and the characters in his painting)

_____. The Passion of Artemisia. 2002 (novel about Artemisia Gentileschi, written in the first person)

Wagner, Kathryn. Dancing for Degas. 2010 (about  Degas and one of his ballerina models)

Watkins, Paul. The Forger. 2000 (novel about an artist and art forger in Paris in 1939)

Watson, Peter. Landscape of Lies. 1989 (art mystery about a 16th-century painting that serves as a treasure map)

Wilson, James. The Dark Clue. 2001 (novel set in mid 19th-century England, about a biographer of J.M.W. Turner)

Wolfe, Tom. The Painted Word. 1975 (Wolfe skewers the contemporary art world and its pretensions)

Zuravleff, Mary Kay. The Bowl is Already Broken. 2005 (entertaining novel about an Asian art museum's acting director, written by former editor of exhibition texts at the Freer and Sackler galleries of Asian art)

Other (especially biography or not-quite fiction):

King, Ross. Brunelleschi's Dome. 2001.

_____. Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling. 2003.

Smith, Patti. Just Kids. 2010.  Memoir about Patti Smith's relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe beginning in the late '60s. 


(See also Art Historians’ Guide to the Movies - http://personal1.stthomas.edu/cdeliason/ahgttm.htm)

Andrei Rublev (1966) - directed by Andrei Tarkovsky - about a 15th-century Russian icon painter

The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) - directed by Carol Reed - about the conflict between Michelangelo (Charlton Heston) and Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison)

The Art of the Steal (2009) - documentary about the recent controversies concerning the oversight and location of the Albert C. Barnes Collection outside of Philadelphia

Artemisia (1997) - directed by Agnes Merlet - French-Italian-German production about the life of Artemisia Gentileschi

The Artist and the Model (2012) directed by Fernando Trueba - "Marc Cros, an elderly sculptor, lives with his wife Lea in the south of France, safe from the War that rages in the distance. He seems to have reached the end of his life and of his art. One day, Léa gives shelter to a beautiful young Spanish political refugee named Mercè. Marc soon understands that the girl, who agrees to pose for him, inspires him and that he has no choice but to embark on this last artistic (and sensual) adventure." (imdb.com)

Basquiat (1996) - directed by Julian Schnabel - about a young artist-protégé of Andy Warhol in the 1980s - Warhol is played by David Bowie - supporting cast includes Dennis Hopper, Willem Dafoe, Benicio del Toro, Parker Posey, Christopher Walken, and Courtney Love

Boogie Woogie (2002?) - about the NY art scene, based on Danny Moynihan's book

Bride of the Wind (2001) - directed by Bruce Beresford - story of Oskar Kokoschka (Vincent Perez), Alma Mahler, and Walter Gropius, with soundtrack of Gustav Mahler's music

Brush with Fate (2003) - Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie based on Susan Vreeland's Girl in Hyacinth Blue, starring Glenn Close and Ellen Burstyn

Bunuel and King Solomon's Table (2001) - about Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali, directed by Carlos Saura

Camille Claudel (1988) - directed by Bruno Nuytten - French production about Camille Claudel (played by Isabelle Adjani) and Auguste Rodin (played by Gerard Depardieu)

Caravaggio (1986) - directed by Derek Jarman - "A retelling of the life of the celebrated 17th-century painter through his brilliant, nearly blasphemous paintings and his flirtations with the underworld." (imdb.com)

Chihwaseon Drunk on Women and Poetry (Korea, 2002) - directed by Im Kwon-taek (best director award at Cannes, 2002) - about the 19th-century Korean painter Jang Seung-ub

The Collector: Allan Stone's Life in Art (2007) - directed by Olympia Stone - about the 46-year career of this New York City gallery owner and art collector

Dirty Pictures (2000) - directed by Frank Pierson - Showtime TV movie (available on video) starring James Woods "as Dennis Barrie, the former director of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, who in 1990 was tried for - and acquitted of - obscenity when he presented a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition containing homoerotic photographs" (ArtNews Dec. 1999, 33)

Factory Girl (2006) - directed by George Hickenlooper - about Edie Sedgwick, Warhol's muse, starring Sienna Miller and Guy Pearce

Frida (1984) - directed by Paul Leduc - Mexican production of life of Frida Kahlo (played by Ofelia Medina)

Frida (2002) - about Frida Kahlo, starring Salma Hayek

Fur (2006) - about photographer Diane Arbus, starring Nicole Kidman

Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003) - directed by Peter Webber, starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth - film about Vermeer and his model, from Tracy Chevalier novel

The Good Thief - with Nick Nolte

Goya (upcoming? 2002-03) - directed by Milos Forman

Goya's Ghosts (2006) - dir. Milos Forman - actors Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard (Goya) - according to Ebert, this film "is like the sketchbook Goya might have made with a camera."

Goya in Bordeaux (1999) - directed by Carlos Saura - Italian-Spanish production about Francisco Goya's late period

Guest of Cindy Sherman (2008) - "A documentary on art-scene commentator Paul Hasegawa-Overacker's relationship with enigmatic photographer Cindy Sherman" (imdb.com)

Herb and Dorothy (2009) - directed by Megumi Sasaki - documentary about Herb and Dorothy Vogel, a postal clerk and librarian who were also art collectors focused on emerging Minimalist artists. They acquired more than 4000 works of art over a 45-year period, all stored in their one-bedroom New York apartment.

Incognito (1997) - directed by John Badham, starring Jason Patric and Irene Jacob - about a forger of a Rembrandt painting

Joe Gould's Secret (2000) - directed by Stanley Tucci - Susan Sarandon as the painter Alice Neel, and Ian Holm as her homeless Harvard-dropout model

Klimt (2006) - directed by Raoul Ruiz, with John Malkovich as the painter Gustav Klimt.

The Leni Riefenstahl Project (2001-02?) - about the 1920s-30s German filmmaker, starring Jodi Foster

Lovers, Liars and Thieves (2002?) - about the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa, starring Robin Williams, Renee Zellweger, and Antonio Banderas - directed by Jeremy Leven

The Limits of Control (2009) - dir. Jim Jarmusch - film about a contract dealer who spends his afternoons studying paintings at the Reina Sofia museum in Spain

Lust for Life (1956) - directed by Vincente Minnelli - about Vincent Van Gogh (played by Kirk Douglas) and Paul Gauguin (played by Anthony Quinn, who won an Oscar for this performance)

The Maiden Heist (2009) - dir. Peter Hewitt - Christopher Walken, Morgan Freeman, and William H. Macy are guards at the fictional Boston Art Museum (visually inspired by the Worcester Art Museum) who plan to steal some works

The Midnight Meat Train (2009) - horror film about a gallery owner (Brooke Shields), a photographer who exhibits in her gallery (Bradley Cooper), and a serial killer

The Mill and the Cross (2011) - directed by Lech Majewski, this film takes the viewer inside Bruegel's painting of The Way to Calvary

Modigliani (2004) - directed by Mick Davis, starring Andy Garcia - other films about this artist: Montparnasse 19 (1958), directed by Jacques Becker, and Modi (1990), directed by Franco Brogi Taviani

Mona Lisa Smile (2003) - about an art history professor at Wellesley in the 1950s, starring Julia Roberts

The Monuments Men (2013) - directed by George Clooney – George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon - "In a race against time, a crew of art historians and museum curators unite to recover renowned works of art stolen by Nazis before Hitler destroys them." (imdb.com)

Museum Hours (2013) directed by Jem Cohen – “When a Vienna museum guard befriends an enigmatic visitor, the grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum becomes a mysterious crossroads which sparks explorations of their lives, the city, and the ways artworks reflect and shape the world.” (imdb.com)

The Napoleon of Crime - (1999?) - Robert Redford as the 19th-century British master art thief Adam Worth (who stole Gainsborough's portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire in 1876)

National Gallery (2015 [?]) – directed by Frederick Wiseman – a documentary about the daily operations of the National Gallery, London, focused on the role of the employees (including curators, conservators, and education staff) and the experiences of the Gallery’s visitors.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) - directed by Shawn Levy, starring Ben Stiller - includes scenes with Grant Wood's American Gothic, Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, Monet, Degas, Rodin, Pollock, Ellsworth Kelly, Jasper Johns, and Jeff Koons

Nightwatching (2007) - directed by Peter Greenaway - a fictional biography of Rembrandt

Picasso at the Lapin Agile (2001-02?) - film adaptation of Steve Martin's play, set in 1904, about a fictitious meeting between Picasso and Einstein

Pollock (2000) - directed by and starring Ed Harris as Jackson Pollock, with Marcia Gay Harden as Lee Krasner (for which she won an Oscar)

The Rape of Europa (2006) - documentary about art plunder by the Nazis during World War II, and the Allied response

The Rape of the Sabine Women (2007) - directed by Eve Sussman - Jacques-Louis David's painting transposed to Europe in the 1960s

Rembrandt's J'Accuse (2009) - dir. Peter Greenaway - misleading but intriguing "documentary" suggesting that Rembrandt painted the Night Watch to accuse the militia company of murder and child prostitution

Rivers and Tides (2000) - dir. by Thomas Reidelsheimer - documentary film about the environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy

Seraphine (2009) - dir. Martin Provost - fictionalized biopic of early 20th-century French artist Seraphine Louis and her relationship with the art critic and dealer  Wilhelm Uhde

Surviving Picasso (1996) - directed by James Ivory - Anthony Hopkins as Picasso, with Natascha McElhone as his young lover - also starring Julianne Moore and Joan Plowright

The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) - directed by John McTiernan - starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo - story about an art thief and insurance investigator - remake of 1968 movie of the same name (but about a bank robber), starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway

Till the End of Time (2000?) - about O'Keeffe (Linda Fiorentino) and Stieglitz (Ben Kingsley), directed by Marek Kanievska

Untitled (2009) - dir. Jonathan Parker - satirical film about a contemporary-art collector and his Chelsea dealer in Manhattan

Van Gogh (1992) - directed by Maurice Pialat and starring Jacques Dutronc - focuses on the last 70 days of Van Gogh's life

The Venice Project (1999) - directed by Robert Dornhelm - shot at the 1999 Venice Biennale, about a painter played by Ed Ruscha and his dealer (Stockard Channing), also starring Dennis Hopper, Lauren Bacall, and Parker Posey (and Frank Gehry, who plays himself)

Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock (2006) - directed by Harry Moses - documentary about the truck driver Teri Horton's 15-year quest to get a painting she bought for $5 at a flea market certified as a Jackson Pollock

III. SONGS (lyrics at bottom of list, when available)

Adam and the Ants - "Animals and Men"
The Bangles - "Walk Like an Egyptian" (1986)
Don McLean - "Vincent" (1971)
Edgar Winter - "Alta Mira" - from album They Only Come Out at Night (1972)
Futureheads - "Man Ray" - from album The Futureheads (2004)
Jonathan Richman - "Pablo Picasso" - from album Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers (1977)(covered by David Bowie on his album Reality)
Jonathan Richman - "No One Was Like Vermeer" - from album Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild (2008)
Rufus Wainwright - "The Art Teacher" - from album Want Two (2004)
Talking Heads - "Artists Only" - from album More Songs about Buildings and Food (1990)

Songs about Mona Lisa:
"Mona Lisa" by Nat King Cole (1950) Graham Parker & Aaron Neville & Guster
"Mona Lisa" by Willie Nelson, from album Somewhere over the Rainbow (1981)
"Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" by Elton John, from album Honky Chateau
"A Mona Lisa" by Counting Crows (written 1992, unreleased).
"Mona Lisa" by Britney Spears
"Mona Lisa" by Unheilig

"Animals and Men" (Adam And The Ants)


Marinetti Boccioni
Carra Balla Palasechi!
Marinetti Boccioni
Carra Balla Palasechi!
Futurist manifesto!
Futurist manifesto!

War is the worlds only hygiene
Energy and fearlessness
Racing car the beauteous beast
Hurl defiance at the stars

Futurist manifesto!
Futurist manifesto!

Voices of
Voices of
(And the futurist theatre goes)

Marinetti Boccioni
Carra Balla Palasechi!
Marinetti Boccioni
Carra Balla Palasechi!
Futurist manifesto!
Futurist manifesto!

Noises obtained by percussion
Metal wood on skin and bone
Voices of animals and men
Laugh and shout
Scream and moan

Futurist manifesto!
Futurist manifesto!

Voices of
Voices of
(And the futurist theatre goes)

"Modern Art" (Art Brut)

Modern art
Makes me
Want to rock out
So I'm in the Tate
And I'm looking at Hockney
And oh sweet Jesus
There's something about that blue
It touches me deep inside
Amazes me when I step outside
I'm sweating
I'm sweating
I'm beginning to palpitate
I can't help myself
I just can't help myself

Modern art
Makes me
Want to rock out

So I'm in the Pompidou
In Paris
And they're more laid back about their art galleries There's little children running around I see a piece on Matisse Take three steps back Take a long run up And I jump at it!

Modern art
Makes me
Want to rock out

"Walk Like an Egyptian" (The Bangles)

All the old paintings on the tombs
They do the sand dance don't you know
If they move too quick (oh whey oh)
They're falling down like a domino

All the bazaar men by the Nile
They got the money on a bet
Gold crocodiles (oh whey oh)
They snap their teeth on your cigarette

Foreign types with the hookah pipes say
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian

Blonde waitresses take their trays
They spin around and they cross the floor
They've got the moves (oh whey oh)
You drop your drink then they bring you more

All the school kids so sick of books
They like the punk and the metal band
When the buzzer rings (oh whey oh)
They're walking like an Egyptian

All the kids in the marketplace say
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian

Slide your feet up the street bend your back
Shift your arm then you pull it back
Life is hard you know (oh whey oh)
So strike a pose on a Cadillac

If you want to find all the cops
They're hanging out in the donut shop
They sing and dance (oh whey oh)
Spin the clubs cruise down the block

All the Japanese with their yen
The party boys call the Kremlin
And the Chinese know (oh whey oh)
They walk the line like Egyptian

All the cops in the donut shop say
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian
Walk like an Egyptian

"Vincent" (Don McLean)

starry night
paint your palette blue and grey

look out on a summer's day
with eyes that know the
darkness in my soul.
Shadows on the hills
sketch the trees and the daffodils

catch the breeze and the winter chills

in colors on the snowy linen land.
And now I understand what you tried to say to me

how you suffered for your sanity
how you tried to set them free.
They would not listen
they did not know how

perhaps they'll listen now.

starry night
flaming flo'rs that brightly blaze

swirling clouds in violet haze reflect in
Vincent's eyes of China blue.
Colors changing hue
morning fields of amber grain

weathered faces lined in pain
are soothed beneath the artist's
loving hand.
And now I understand what you tried to say to me

how you suffered for your sanity
how you tried to set them free.
perhaps they'll listen now.

For they could not love you
but still your love was true

and when no hope was left in sight on that starry
starry night.
You took your life
as lovers often do;
But I could have told you
this world was never
meant for one
as beautiful as you.

starry night
portraits hung in empty halls

frameless heads on nameless walls
with eyes
that watch the world and can't forget.
Like the stranger that you've met

the ragged men in ragged clothes

the silver thorn of bloddy rose
lie crushed and broken
on the virgin snow.
And now I think I know what you tried to say to me

how you suffered for your sanity

how you tried to set them free.
They would not listen
they're not
list'ning still
perhaps they never will.

"Alta Mira" (Edgar Winter)

Yesterday I said goodbye to all my misery

I floated down the river just to see what I could see
Yesterday I said goodbye to all my misery
I came upon the ocean and its beauty took me in
I floated down the river just to see what I could see
A bird's course may take my mind is where I must begin
I came upon the ocean and its beauty took me in

A bird's course may take my mind is where I must begin
Alta Mira, oh set my spirit free

Alta Mira, like the wind that moves the sea
Alta Mira, oh set my spirit free
Alta Mira, let it set your spirit free
Alta Mira, like the wind that moves the sea
Alta Mira, we can live in harmony
Alta Mira, let it set your spirit free

Alta Mira, we can live in harmony
The sun was like a burnin' flame

That sinks beneath the sea
The sun was like a burnin' flame
Beckoning with all its color
That sinks beneath the sea
Come and follow me
Beckoning with all its color
Its flame was my reflection
Come and follow me
Though I knew it wasn't real
Its flame was my reflection
I had to find out what it was
Though I knew it wasn't real
And how it made you feel
I had to find out what it was

And how it made you feel
Alta Mira, set my spirit free

Alta Mira, like the wind that moves the sea
Alta Mira, set my spirit free
Alta Mira, let it set your spirit free
Alta Mira, like the wind that moves the sea
Alta Mira, we can live in harmony
Alta Mira, let it set your spirit free

Alta Mira, we can live in harmony
Hey, Alta Mira ...

Set my spirit free ...
Hey, Alta Mira ...

Set my spirit free ...

"Man Ray" (Futureheads)

It gives me manray
It's what we like
It gives me weston
Touch each other in black and white
Eia eia eieieia, eia eia eieieia, eia eia eieieia etc..

Where did your hands go
When you thought i was your life
I could see his hands
They were touching you all night

And where did your hands go
When you thought i was your life
I could see his hands
They were touching you all night
Touching you all night night night

Touch yourself, touch yourself, touch each other in black and white
Touch yourself, touch yourself, touch each other in black and white
Touch yourself, touch yourself, touch each other in black and white
Touch yourself, touch yourself, touch each other in black and white

Give me manray
It's what we like
Give me weston
Touch each other in black and white

Touch yourself touch yourself / touch each other in black and white
Touch yourself, touch yourself, touch each other in black and white
Touch yourself, touch yourself, touch each other in black and white
Touch yourself, touch yourself, touch each other in black and white

"Pablo Picasso" (Jonathan Richman)

Well some people [guys] try to pick up girls / And get called [the] assholes. / This never happened to Pablo Picasso - He could walk down your street / And girls could not resist his stare and so / Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole [some verses or versions: Not like You; Not in New York] - Well [in Paris and New York] the girls would turn the color / Of the avocado when he would drive / Down their street in his El Dorado. - He was only five foot three / And girls could not resist his stare.
NOTE: Lyrics are from Modern Lovers (1976) version, with lyrical variants from Precise indicated in brackets [ ].
Additional lines from Precise version:
And all the problems the young men of New York City have with women were not those of Pablo Picasso. / In New York City some guys try to pick up girls, it's unsuccessful tries. They don't realize it's all in the eyes of Pablo Picasso. / Now for that New York subway sound... / Be not shmuck, be not obnoxious, be not bell-bottom bummer or asshole, remember the story of Pablo Picasso.

"No One Was Like Vermeer" (Jonathan Richman) 

Back in the days of old Rembrandt
Back in the time of Jan Steen
All of them giants of shadow and light
But no one was like Vermeer

Some paintings smell of joy and sweat
Some paintings plain look so fine
And some are sad and passionate
But Vermeer sends a chill up your spine
Yeah Vermeer sends a chill up your spine

Vermeer was eerie
Vermeer was strange
He had his own color range
As if born in a more modern age
They may be oh a hundred or so years ago

What's this a ghost in the gallery
Great Scot the Martians are here
Why are his paintings so unlike the others
Unlike the other ones so near
No one was like Vermeer

Back in the days of Rembrandt
Back in the time of old Jan Steen
All of the masters of shadow and light
But no one was like Vermeer

"Max Ernst" (Mission Of Burma)

People did not like that man Max Ernst.
(The Blessed Virgin Chastises the Infant Jesus) He was so irrational Max Ernst.
(Garden Airplane-Trap, Garden Airplane-Trap) The pleasures of the sight The pleasures of the flesh The vanities of life He loved them all.
In the pretty house they go away.
(In the pretty house, In the pretty house) In that pretty house they do not stay.
(Not in the pretty house, Not in the pretty house) In the burning sea In the laughing lights In the luminous sea In the brash gold night In the turtle's head I blacked out fast.
In the city's halls always it laughed.

"Debaser" (Pixies)

Got me a movie
I want you to know
Slicing up eyeballs
I want you to know
Girly so groovy
I want you to know
Don't know about you
But I am un chien andalusia

Want to grow
Up to be
Be a debaser, debaser

Got me a movie
Ha ha ha ho
Slicing up eyeballs
Ha ha ha ho
Girly so groovie
Ha ha ha ho
Don't know about you
But I am un chien andalusia

"The Art Teacher" (Rufus Wainwright)

There I was in uniform
Looking at the art teacher
I was just a girl then;
Never have I loved since then

He was not that much older than I was
He had taken our class to the Metropolitan Museum
He asked us what our favorite work of art was,
But never could I tell it was him
Oh, I wish I could tell him --
Oh, I wish I could have told him

I looked at the Rubens and Rembrandts
I liked the John Singer Sargents
He told me he liked Turner
Never have I turned since then
No, never have I turned to any other man

All this having been said,
I married an executive company head
All this having been done, a Turner - I own one
Here I am in this uniformish, pant-suit sort of thing,
Thinking of the art teacher
I was just a girl then;
Never have I loved since then
No, never have I loved any other man

"Artists Only" (Talking Heads)

I'm painting, I'm painting again.
I'm painting, I'm painting again.
I'm cleaning, I'm cleaning again.
I'm cleaning, I'm cleaning my brain.

Pretty soon now, I will be bitter.
Pretty soon now, will be a quitter.
Pretty soon now, I will be bitter.
You can't see it 'til it's finished

I don't have to prove...that I am creative!
I don't have to prove...that I am creative!
All my pictures are confused
And now I'm going to take me to you.