When Respected Authors, from Goethe to Henry Miller, Try Their Hand at Painting

Fresh­ly post­ed on pub­lish­er Melville House’s blog, you’ll find exam­ples of visu­al art by tex­tu­al artists; draw­ings and paint­ings, in oth­er words, drawn and paint­ed by peo­ple who have gone down in his­to­ry for their way with sen­tences. This could eas­i­ly turn into a les­son about not quit­ting one’s day job. But, as you can see from the work above, Maria Nys Hux­ley at Sies­ta, Melville House blog­ger Kevin Mur­phy has­n’t put togeth­er a study in the incom­pe­tence of the dilet­tante. You’ve sure­ly already guessed the lit­er­ary con­nec­tion: the paint­ing came from the hand of Brave New World author Aldous Hux­ley, who put his wife Maria Nys to can­vas in 1920, when both were still in their twen­ties.

The post fea­tures more paint­ings from the late eigh­teenth cen­tu­ry to the mid-twen­ti­eth by Johann Wolf­gang von Goethe, Vic­tor Hugo, Mar­cel Proust, Her­mann Hesse, e.e. cum­mings, Zel­da Fitzger­ald, Jack Ker­ouac, Flan­nery O’Con­nor, and Hen­ry Miller. Each one reflects  some­thing famil­iar about the painter’s main line of work: Goethe’s, bucol­ic rever­ie; Proust’s, the sketch­i­ness of fad­ing mem­o­ry enriched by a scat­ter­ing of bold details; Hes­se’s, a stare of unbro­ken inten­si­ty. One par­tic­u­lar out­lier, with its sim­ple pen-and-ink com­po­si­tion as well as its overt humor, express­es the lit­er­ary per­son­al­i­ty of its cre­ator more strong­ly than all the oth­ers put togeth­er:

Can you guess the author — er, artist?

Find the full col­lec­tion here.

via @KirstinButler

Relat­ed con­tent:

Pho­tos of Famous Writ­ers (and Rock­ers) with their Dogs

The Writ­ing Rooms of Famous Writ­ers

Famous Authors Read Oth­er Famous Authors

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

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