Nationalism and the Nordic Imagination: Swedish Art of the 1890s
The University of California Press, 1998

“This richly illustrated book is a lucid introduction to a largely neglected manifestation of Modernism that came out of fin-de-siècle Sweden. Michelle Facos presents the first study in English to seriously examine the movement known as Swedish National Romanticism. Her work is especially valuable in showing how the movement’s primitivist tendencies were related to, but different from, similar cultural forces in Germany and other parts of Europe at that time. Facos shows how a small group of Swedish artists…produced a specifically national Swedish art by focusing on indigenous history, legends, and folk tales as well as uniquely Swedish-Nordic values, geography, and ethnography. Their breathtaking images of the Nordic landscape shaped a communal “Folk” identity that accented regionalism, solidarity, and attachment to the past and protested against the perceived dangers of capitalist industrialism and urban expansion. By 1900 Sweden was on its way to realizing a society of social, economic, and political equality, and the National Romantic painters were no longer renegades.” -Goodreads

“In Nationalism & the Nordic Imagination, Facos looks at some of the themes that Swedish ‘National Romantic’ painters dealt with during the 1890s. Grounded in ideas like primitivism, rootedness, symbolism, and the value of historical painting, Swedish art was also part of a larger Scandinavian and European context, which Facos explores, relating Swedish art to the work of painters like Gauguin, Puvis de Chavannes, and Van Gogh. The book is very well-written and accessible, and recommended to anyone interested in art history or Scandinavia. Five stars.” -Stephen Taylor on

Symbolist Art in Context
The University of California Press 2009

“Brilliant! Michelle Facos has once again created a lucid and richly-illustrated book enriching the understanding of late nineteenth-century European art and culture (See her groundbreaking book on Swedish painting of the 1890s). Without a doubt, her departure from the Franco-centric paradigm of art history is the book’s biggest advantage…She includes artists from across the continent—incorporating artistic production from the European peripheries: most notably Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Her narrative is full of fascinating facts as well as insightful examinations into myriad, and often well-known, works of art. Despite the wide range of imagery that is often lumped into the Symbolist canon, Facos does a fantastic job tying everything together. I only wish that the book could incorporate even more! Five stars.”  -Eestilaul1 on

An Introduction to Nineteenth-Century Art
Routledge, 2011.

 “I suppose this is a textbook but didn’t pay much attention to that. This is the best survey of 19th-century art I have read. It is still highly Eurocentric (does include US artists) but is more inclusive than usual in that it includes some fine Scandinavian and East European artists whose work is too often not covered. Five stars.”  -Lyndon Brecht on

Art, Culture, and National Identity in Fin-de-Siècle Europe
Cambridge University Press, 2003. Co-edited with Sharon L. Hirsh

“Provide[s] rich additions to the scholarly literature of this burgeoning field. Highly recommended.” -Choice

The Symbolist Roots of Modern Art
Ashgate, 2015. Co-edited with Thor J. Mednick

“Michelle Facos and Thor Mednick, in their recent anthology, The Symbolist Roots of Modern Art, observe that the Symbolists un- dermined conventional modes of representation in an effort to ‘access the divine directly’.” -Alex Ross, “The Magus of Paris,” The New Yorker 26 June 1017

“This volume is an extraordinary contribution to the scholarship on Symbolism and Modernism. It covers not only art, but also the philosophical, historical, and literary contexts of both movements. It clearly demonstrates unexpected interconnections between Symbolism and Modernism and introduces little known artists alongside famous names.”  -Slavic and East European Journal

“Facos, Mednick, and their co-essayists persuasively posit that Symbolism is in fact the dawn of Modern art, rather than an anti-Modernist moment as it has so often been described. The Symbolist Roots of Modern Artproves to be a studied reflection on Symbolism’s reappraisal of both the material and the natural, which, in turn, connects it to Modernism’s interrogation of art’s object-ness and disruption of conventional semiotic structures. … Sure to spark lively discussion.”  -Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide

A Companion to Nineteenth-Century Art
Wiley-Blackwell, 2018