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An Art Novel


Arthur D. Hittner


A Florida retiree, dabbling in the art market, acquires the contents of a storage locker in a foreclosure sale. Included is a cache of unsigned paintings of a beautiful young woman by a supremely talented hand. Who is she, who's the artist, and what gave rise to these stunning works? By what tortuous path did they find their way into an abandoned storage unit and who'll prevail in the ensuing struggle for their possession? The answers are revealed in the art-sleuthing novel, The Caroline Paintings, a bittersweet, fifty-year tale of art, love, duplicity, perseverance, and discovery featuring a troubled teenage runaway, a tormented artist, an illegitimate son, an unscrupulous attorney, a beer-guzzling widower, and a quirky Harvard art professor. Inspired by the saga of the Helga Pictures by Andrew Wyeth, and in the tradition of art-centered fiction such as The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Girl with a Pearl Earring, and The Art Forger, The Caroline Paintings is a must-read for lovers of art and partisans of historical and contemporary fiction.

Print ISBN: 978-0-9989810-7-9

Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9989810-6-2

274 pp. softcover (5.5 x 8.5) 2020

List Price $14.95 (print); $6.99 (ebook) 

Available now in ebook format (Amazon exclusive) and print edition (Amazon and other online booksellers)

What critics say:
"A talented artist can never turn down a beautiful young muse, or so it seems in Hittner’s latest 2020 novel, The Caroline Paintings.  If you are looking for an indie art fiction novel with a lovable gaggle of seemingly mismatched characters that will make your heart swell, you’ll love this amateur sleuth mystery.
You’ll love The Caroline Paintings for its amiable, relatable, and dimensional characters paired with an art history mystery rich in detail and friendship.  Plus, Hittner gently guides readers with a few life lessons, too."  
The Uncorked Librarian
"Inspired by the real-life story of the "Helga Pictures" -- a secret cache of Andrew Wyeth paintings featuring Wyeth's neighbor and model --"The Caroline Paintings" features a painter, a precocious teenage beauty, a lumbering antiques peddler, a rumpled semi-retired art professor, and a mystery and ethical quandary involving lost art. As in his previous novels ("Artist, Soldier, Lover, Muse" and "Four-Finger Singer and his Late Wife Kate"), "The Caroline Paintings" is informed, but not burdened, by Hittner's expertise. And, as he clearly likes his characters, so do we."
Arizona Daily Star

"Art in Fiction"

Novel of the Week

March 2-8, 2020

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