Historian of 18th and 19th century French painting. Brookner received her B.A. from King's College, University of London, and her Ph.D. in art history from the Courtald Institute of Art. She began her teaching career as a lecturer on French art and culture at the University of Reading between 1959-64. Brookner later became the first woman to be named to the Slade Professorship at Cambridge University teaching the academic year of 1967-68. She has remained at the Courtauld, holding the rank of professor since 1977. Her 1972 monograph on Greuze was particularly well received. Other scholarly work about 18th century French culture includes Watteau (1968), The Genius of the Future: Studies in French Art and Criticism (1971), and Jacques-Louis David (1980). Brookner began writing novels in 1981, and received the Booker Prize in 1984 for her novel, Hotel du Lac. Brookner emerged as an major exponent of the so-called New Art History. In a 1967 open letter to Michael Levey in the Burlington Magazine, Brookner outlined the divergent methodologies between Levey's conservative formalism and the New Art History.
Greuze: the Rise and Fall of an Eighteenth-century Phenomenon. London: Elek, 1972; "From Anita Brookner to Michael Levey--an Open Letter." Burlington Magazine 109 (May 1967): 308-310.
Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed. 17 Vols. Gale Research, 1998
- Anita Brookner Notebooks, The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center. https://norman.hrc.utexas.edu/fasearch/pdf/00420.pdf, HRC-MS Brookner, Anita.