I highly recommend Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer book which is the companion to the exhibit of the same name at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I have looked at the book each time I have visited the exhibit and the illustrations are good… This would be a delight to give or receive as a gift. I have noticed that the books from exhibits increase in value and I usually buy them. I have asked for this one for Christmas as it is a great inspiration to see how the masters painted.
One way we can use these high quality books is to copy the masters’ paintings to see what they did and if we can achieve the same effects as they did. I have done this in the past but will start to do more. How many people make this a practice?
You can see the book and order it here:
(I am an Amazon.com affiliate and do get a very small commission but that is certainly not the reason I recommend books)