In this intriguing book, young readers will be introduced to the unsolved mysteries behind some of the world's greatest art and artists.
School Library JournalGr 4–8—This smorgasbord of mysteries is presented in chronological order beginning with the Ark of the Covenant at the time of Moses to the present-day graffiti painter known as Banksy. Some of them pose personal questions about specific artists such as to whom van Gogh gave his ear or how Caravaggio died. Others focus on a particular work of art such as Mona Lisa's smile or Goya's portrayal of the Spanish royal family. Styles of painting include surrealism and the works of Bosch, van Eyck, and Vermeer. There are quizzes, activity suggestions, time lines, sidebars, and brief text explaining why these questions are considered mysteries. Excellent-quality reproductions appear throughout. This is definitely a different approach for introducing young people to various aspects of art history. Readers can pick and choose those chapters that sound interesting to them but would need to find additional information elsewhere for reports. The illustrations are well chosen to support these succinct inquiries into some perplexing puzzlements from the world of art.—Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA
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