London Now

A festival of art and literature

  • Event date 6 June - 15 July
  • Event location London

The Art of Literature

The histories of art and literature are inextricably linked: an ancient epic poem inspires an Old Master picture; a contemporary artist takes flight from a Shakespearean phrase; a medieval illuminated manuscript combines text and painting in a single beautiful object.

Christie’s is delighted to present two extraordinary exhibitions under the banner of The Art of Literature. The Art of Literature: Loan and Selling Exhibition (6 June – 14 July), which brings together an extraordinary selection of masterpieces embodying this most productive of creative partnerships. At times direct and at other times subtly allusive, the connections between art and literature explored across this exhibition offer exciting insights into the works of important artists and writers including Marlene Dumas, William Shakespeare, Peter Paul Rubens, Lucian Freud, Joan Mitchell, James Joyce, Pablo Picasso and Peter Doig.

The Art of Literature: Auction Highlights Exhibition (6–16 June) presents highlights from our summer sale season, with fashion by Molly Goddard, to explore connections between art and literature across a wide range of genres and periods. From antiquities and Old Master paintings to fine jewellery and contemporary art, the works in this exhibition underscore the interconnections between painters and poets, sculptors and novelists, dramatists and craftspeople that have existed for millennia.

Watch the video to follow exhibition curators, Annabelle Scholar, Mark Wiltshire and Victoria Gramm, as they take you through the highlights of our Loan and Selling Exhibition.

For information contact:

Art of Literature

Visit our exhibition

London Now | Exhibitions

On view | Christie’s London

Join us and uncover the inspirations behind the great works of art and literature through the centuries — entry is free and open to all.

On view
◆ Art of Literature Auction Highlights Exhibition (6–16 June)
◆ Art of Literature Loan and Selling Exhibition (6 June – 14 July)
◆ First Editions, Second Thoughts: An Auction in Support of English PEN (a selection of lots will be on view from 6–16 June within The Art of Literature: Auction Highlights Exhibition. A full exhibition of all lots will be on show from 9–12 July)

8 King Street
London SW1Y 6QT

Viewing times
Weekdays, 9am – 5pm
Weekends, 12pm – 5pm

*Closed 18 and 19 June
*Extended viewing until 8pm on 4 and 11 July


Virtual tour | The Art of Literature

Take a 360-degree tour of our two extraordinary exhibitions delving into the inextricable links between the visual and literary arts through the ages, with works by Shakespeare, Picasso, Joyce, Rubens and more

Private Sales

The Art of Literature Loan and Selling Exhibition

The Art of Literature: Loan and Selling Exhibition

6 June – 14 July | Selling Exhibition

Auction highlights

Special features

Marlene Dumas


Marlene Dumas: ‘I use every kind of trick to get attention… you are forced to say yes or no’

As two of Dumas’s works come to Christie’s for our Art of Literature exhibition, Jessica Lack surveys the career of the South African painter whose provocative images explore sex and death

Molly Goddard


Meet Molly Goddard, British fashion’s rising star

With Goddard’s exuberant creations inspired by Tess of the d’Urbervilles on display in London as part of our Art of Literature exhibition, the designer, above left, talks to Christie’s about the diverse influences on her creative journey