Picture Books About Famous Artists

Learn more about famous artists with these engaging picture books about famous artists.

Picture Books About Famous Artists

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Anholt’s Artist Series by Laurence Anholt

This series tells the stories of famous artists from the point of view of young kids who meet them. I loved this series because it humanizes the artist and brings them to life.

The Fantastic Jungles of Henry Rousseu by Michelle Markel

Henry Rousseu never took a art class, but hard work, determination, and a willingness to fail a few times served this self-taught painter well. Henry didn’t begin painting until he was 40, and it wasn’t until age 61 that his paintings began to be recognized for their greatness. His story will inspire young readers to keep on keeping on. 

 

Frida by Jonah Winter

Deep loneliness, a bout with polio, and an accident involving a city bus were not enough to put a damper on Frida Kahlo’s indomitable spirit. Set in Mexico, this abbreviated biography of the famous artist’s life will encourage readers to persevere through any circumstance.

Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter

Henri Matisse began to rise in popularity as a painter, but an unexpected illness left him bedridden and unable to lift a hand to a canvas. Henri’s creativity, however, was not crippled by his sickness, and he picked up some scissors and began to cut out paper shapes, developing a new form of art. 

My Name is Georgia by Jeanette Winter

Georgia O’Keefe painted big flowers and gardens from Texas to New York. This is a short biography and an interesting introduction into the life of this artist and how she discovered she had a real talent. 

Edward Hopper Paints His World by Robert Burleigh

When was just a young boy, Edward Hopper wrote the following on his pencil case: ‘Edward Hopper–Would-be Artist’. That simple declaration drove him to follow his dream. This is his story; from childhood to notable painter. 

My Hands Sing the Blues by Jeanne Walker Harvey

Romare Bearden, a Harlem Renaissance artist, created collages that told stories about the neighborhoods and city in which he lived. 

Action Jackson by Jan Greenburg and Sandra Jordan

In the summer of 1950, Jackson Pollock was working on his genius project, Lavender Mist. This book lays out his unconventional methods as an artist as well as his typical day-in-the-life. 

If Monet Painted a Monster by Amy Newbold

If Monet painted a monster, what would it look like? I LOVE this book that reimagines monsters in the style of famous painters. The other books in this series:

Monet Paints a Day by Julie Danneburg

On a sunny day in Etretat, France, Claude Monet begins to develop a masterpiece. This story follows the unique creative process of this impressionist painter as he prepares a new work on the beach. 

Katie and the Mona Lisa by Julie Danneburg

Katie and her grandmother set eyes on the famous Mona Lisa while touring an art museum, and the Mona Lisa steps out of the frame and begins to talk to Katie. Katie and her new friend walk the halls of the museum together, looking at other notable pieces from artists like Raphael, da Vinci, Carpaccio, and Botticelli. At each painting, a background on the work and its artist is passed on to Katie. 

Uncle Andy’s by James Warhola

James Warhola, nephew of Andy Warhol, spins a story from his childhood, letting readers glimpse the artistic process of the artist who turned trash into treasures. It also explains how James’ own artistic career was influenced by his famous uncle. 

Me, Frida by Amy Novesky

Frida Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera, left Mexico for California to further Rivera’s painting career. Stuck in a strange new country, Frida experimented with paints and soon she developed her own handicraft as an artist. 

Matisse’s Garden by Samantha Friedman

Scissors in hand, Henri Matisse cut out the shape of a bird. He studied it and decided it was lonely, so he began to cut out flowers and plants to surround it. This book tells the story of the unconventional artist with a child-like mind. 

Anna’s Art Adventure by Bjorn Sortland

When Anna wanders away from her uncle at the art museum, she begins to befriend the artists she meets while trodding through the halls. Anna discusses art with a whole slew of artists like Rembrandt, van Gogh, Warhol, Matisse, Picasso, Chagall, Pollock, and more. With each conversation, she gains new insight into the artists and their creations.

Sandy’s Circus by Tanya Lee Stone

Alexander Calder had a knack for creating mesmerizing shapes and designs out of other people’s junk and transforming the shapes into mobiles that hung and spun with a hypnotizing air. Calder, nicknamed Sandy, began creating new things out of the old at a young age, enchanting friends and family alike with his abilities. Later on, life brought him to the stage, where he charmed audiences with his circus-in-a-suitcase. 

Vincent’s Colors by Vincent Van Gogh

The words of Vincent Van Gogh are set next to his masterpieces, both the well-known and the more obscure. These excerpts are taken from his letters to his brother, Theo, giving us an intimate look at the artist like never before. 

Ablaze with Color by Jeanne Walker Harvey

Alma Thomas loved spending time outside, enjoying the colors around her. Despite facing racism and prejudice, Alma thrived on art, color, and creativity. As an adult, Alma has had her work featured in the Whitney Museum in NYC and the White House.

The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock

Wassily Kandinsky was one of the first abstract artists, and his story is told here in The Noisy Paint Box. He had a unique ability to feel colors as sounds and vice versa. This gift allowed him to create some works of art that were developed in an unprecedented style that was not popular at first. He continued to hone his craft, however, and eventually became a celebrated artist.

Through Georgia’s Eyes by Rachel Victoria Rodriquez

Georgia O’Keefe’s eye for minute details helped her to create masterpieces of realistic and brilliant-looking flowers that popped off the page and turned heads. This tale chronicles the life of Georgia, a born Wisconsin-ite who moved to the big city until the noises and crush of people gave her claustrophobia that sent her to the Southwest. There she learned to breathe and paint again. 

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