There a wealth of fine graphic novels detailing the lives of the great artists. As SelfMadeHero’s Art Masters imprint is specifically dedicated to such books, we make no apologies for featuring them a lot. In many cases this is the sole work by the creators translated into English, so we’ve provided fewer links.
Black Dog – This biography of Paul Nash is a tour de force by someone many might regard as an artist of near equal stature. Stunning images block the key narrative arcs of Nash’s life into structure while also encompassing the literary innovations of the era. From Dave McKean and Dark Horse Books.
Dali – The single name most associated with Surrealism is Salvador Dali, and in Baudoin there’s a comics master looking at his life. It’s an accomplished documentary style work giving a full and fascinating account of a man never shy of self-promotion. From Baudoin and SelfMadeHero.
Gauguin – Fabrizio Dori works many of the tormented painter’s better known images into his biography, mking good use of the similarities of Gauguin’s often outlined work and comics, as he lets the artist tell his own story. From SelfMadeHero.
Hieronymus – The imagery of Heironymus Bosch has disturbed and beguiled for centuries, but so little is known of the man that when commissioned by the Marcel Ruijters fills in with absorbingly with social conditions of the era feeding into the paintings. Absorbing and enlightening. From Knockabout Books.
Ladies in Waiting – Not a biography of an artist, but of a painting as Javier Olivares and Santiago Garcia examine every aspect of ‘Las Meninas’ by Velasquez, a masterpiece that’s infatuated and beguiled since 1656, raising questions, puzzles and unadorned admiration. From Fantagraphics Books.
Magritte – When dealing with the famous conceptualist the subtitle of ‘This is not a Biography’ is entirely appropriate. Thomas Campi and Vincent Zabus deliver a rich and vivid portrait via an imaginative series of surreal situations. From SelfMadeHero.
Monet – Salva Rubio priorities historic truth and completeness about the man who inisted natural light was all, conveyed in vivid brightness by artist EFA who applies a vast range of palettes and incoportates Monet’s own locations and work. From NBM Publishing.
Munch – A tour de force from Steffen Kverneland investigating the frankly unhinged exploits of Norway’s most famous painter. A consistently innovative approach and a life worth telling result in a great biography. From SelfMadeHero.
Pablo – A welcome English translation of what was originally four French volumes by Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie offering a detailed introduction to Picasso’s world, art and thoughts. He’s a towering figure in modern art and this hefty compliation does him full justice. From SelfMadeHero.
Rembrandt – Typex brilliantly transfers Rembrandt’s style of classic painting to comics in a project c0mmissioned by the Dutch Foundation for Literature. Astonishingly, he even transfers the artist’s colour scheme to the material. A triumph from SelfMadeHero. Again.