Sign In Join Now
User Accessibility
  • Increase Font

  • Invert Colours

Search for a Book Browse Books Menu
Audiobooks Inspired by Art

Audiobooks Inspired by Art

April 15, 2024 0 Comments

Audiobooks Inspired by Art


For World Art Day, we’ve picked ten audiobooks from our collection inspired by art and artists. Read on to find books that will immerse you in the world of art, whether that world is Tudor England, seventeenth-century Holland or fantasy-Korea!


  1. How to Be Both by Ali Smith

Ali Smith was inspired to write this novel after seeing the breathtaking fresco, Mese di Marzo by Francesco del Cossa. Smith borrows from the fresco technique to form a literary double-take through time and space, combining intertwining stories from centuries apart, all at once - one of a troubled teenager, the other of del Cossa himself. This is a dazzling novel all about art’s versatility.


  1. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier


Inspired by Vermeer’s famous painting, Chevalier tells the story of Griet, the young daughter of a tilemaker in seventeenth-century Holland, who becomes a servant in Vermeer’s tumultuous household. The cool and distanced style of Griet’s narration reflects the restraint and control exercised by artists like Vermeer, who are dedicated solely to their work, at times at the expense of those around them.


  1. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown


Robert Langdon is a Harvard symbologist tasked with solving a baffling cipher found near the body of the murdered curator of the Louvre. Langdon is stunned to discover the cipher leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci - clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.


  1. The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell


Young Lucrezia de’ Medici sits for the painting which is to preserve her image for centuries to come: her marriage portrait. It is her husband, Alfonso, who controls this image: he chooses the artist, her uncomfortable clothes, and the intricacies of her depiction as a woman of noble blood. But O’Farrell’s novel shows us that Lucrezia is more than her marriage portrait. More than the murdered wife of Robert Browning’s ‘My Last Duchess’. She is Lucrezia, a budding artist herself who can never be made to conform, despite the consequences this may have on her life.


  1. Portrait of An Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett


Portrait of An Unknown Woman is about passion, painting and politics in sixteenth-century England. Bennett utilises the art of Hans Holbein to tell the radically changing stories of Sir Thomas More’s household, Tudor society and England itself over the course of a few short years. Both a love story and a work of historical fiction, the novel makes known the subject of Holbein’s unknown portrait: More’s adopted daughter, Meg, who finds herself drawn to a mysterious tutor, John Clement, and the renowned artist himself.


  1. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde


Dorian Gray wants to remain as youthful as he appears in his recently completed portrait forever, so begins to wish that the picture would age rather than himself. When Dorian’s wish is granted, little does he know the horrors that will unfold. With his every sin reflected in the increasingly ugly portrait, Dorian’s life descends into chaos as he aims to restore its beauty.


  1. On Chapel Sands: My Mother and Other Missing Persons by Laura Cumming


On Chapel Sands is both a mystery and a memoir by art critic Laura Cumming. Using humble household objects and art of all kinds as clues, Cumming opens the doors to the truth and finds crucial answers regarding her mother’s childhood kidnapping.


  1. Death of an Artist by Kate Wilhelm


As the title suggests, Kate Wilhelm’s novel follows the suspicious death of an artist, Stef, after she discovers her husband is trying to sell her work behind her back. Stef’s grandmother and granddaughter join forces to bring her killer to justice and prevent her murderer from profiting off her art.


  1. Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee


Phoenix Extravagant follows the story of a non-binary artist and lifelong pacifist, Gyen Jebi, who is recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the government’s automaton soldiers. But as Jebi discovers the government’s crimes, and the awful source of the magical pigments they use, they can no longer stay out of politics. Jebi instead embarks on an adventure with the ministry’s dragon robot to fight the regime.


  1. Reflections On the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron


This is not a novel, but rather a transformative guide from artist Julia Cameron designed to unblock your natural creativity and unleash your inner artist. A must-listen for anyone seeking to overcome creative blocks and unlock your artistic potential.



Art knows no boundaries when it comes to time, space or even genre. This is reflected in all of these titles, which, of course, as pieces of literature, are works of art themselves! We hope you find something within this list to help you celebrate World Art Day, whether that is by unleashing your inner artist or simply immersing yourself in another, beautiful world.

Stream or download all ten titles today on the Libby app or our website by clicking their titles.


Author: Annabel Morgan

Leave a Reply
Instagram Post

Our Sunday Staff Pick is The Audacity, written and narrated by Katherine Ryan, recommended by Amy! 📚

"An engaging, lively and very funny account of Katherine Ryan’s life and career as she talks about family, motherhood, friends, relationships and her journey into stand-up comedy. If you’re a fan of her comedy or her podcast make sure you give it a listen!"

Stream or download on our website or Libby today 🎧

ID: Book cover of The Audacity by Katherine Ryan on a pink background with gold specks.

Hashtags: #KatherineRyan #StandUp #Comedian #UKComedy #Audiobooks

Follow on Instagram