Charming Paintings of Reading & Writing Perfect for Book Lovers

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When Madame de Pompadour, chief mistress to Louis XV, had her portrait painted by Rococo master François Boucher in 1756, the choice was made that she be sumptuously reclined with an opened book in her lap — a discerning artistic trope that indicated her intellectual accomplishments as a patron of the arts and letters. In that and innumerable other paintings, books have appeared as signs of erudition in portraits, as symbols of piety in religious work, and, after the invention of the printing press, as emblems of a rising mercantile class in still lifes and genre scenes. Sotheby’s upcoming American Art sale (6 March) includes a number of paintings of figure enraptured in reading and writing . Click ahead to see these literary-minded scenes, including Milton Avery's Portrait of the Artist's Daughter Reading, a sale highlight.

Charming Paintings of Reading & Writing Perfect for Book Lovers

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