I've read a few books recently. I've been wavering about writing up three of them. I finished them all, but with reservations. The reservations say more about me than about the books, so I think I'll post the book details for completeness sake (before writing up those I've read since, and loved) and then try to explain what my reservations say about me as opposed to the books or their authors.
I'm currently reading (amongst other books) Kate Williams' biography of Emma Hamilton (hence the art(ist) musings). More on that when I finish it.
[ETA:] Regarding Nicky, it would probably work better if, during his landscapes phase, he had supplemented his income by producing quick portraits of locals and tourists, who stopped to watch him at work. Amongst them also would been the gallery owner who hosted his first real exhibition and the first modeling agent to spot Bridie.
[ETA2:] I think I'm also going with the 'briefly famous due to a good publicist' idea: Nicky was everywhere and everyone wanted him to paint for them over a short period of years. Then he stopped painting, the publicity machine wound down, and everyone moved onto the next big thing.