One of the most beautiful things ever written about visual art is Zbigniew Herbert’s “Still Life With a Bridle,” a book-length study of Dutch painting. Another is “The Birds of Paolo Uccello,” Italo Calvino’s fanciful essay about why there aren’t more birds in the oeuvre of a painter whose name means bird. To this list one could add Charles Simic’s book on Joseph Cornell, “Dime-Store Alchemy,” and Mark Strand’s monograph on Edward Hopper. And “Remembrance of Things Past” is full of meditations on art that we may want to copy out and have embroidered on samplers.