A Boy Named Giotto

A Boy Named Giotto

by Guarnieri, Bimba Landmann
     
 

A sparkling celebration of the pre-Renaissance master

Centuries ago, a shepherd boy drew pictures of his sheep in the sand and on stones. Today, everyone knows him as Giotto, the pre-Renaissance master whose magnificent frescoes illuminate the Church of St. Francis in Assisi and the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. In A Boy Named Giotto, Paolo Guarnieri

…  See more details below

Overview

A sparkling celebration of the pre-Renaissance master

Centuries ago, a shepherd boy drew pictures of his sheep in the sand and on stones. Today, everyone knows him as Giotto, the pre-Renaissance master whose magnificent frescoes illuminate the Church of St. Francis in Assisi and the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. In A Boy Named Giotto, Paolo Guarnieri tells a story of how young Giotto might have been apprenticed to the great master Cimabue and taught how to paint frescoes. In legendary fashion, Cimabue, as any other artist of the times might have done, realizes that the student has outdone the master and will subsequently find a permanent place of honor in the history of art. Bimba Landmann's stunning paintings, with highlights of glittering gilt, call to mind the work of Giotto but exude a style that is distinctly Landmann's own.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The spare, mellifluous quality of first-time children's book author Guarnieri's prose is matched only by the fluidity of line and stark perspectives in Landmann's paintings, which emulate the work of their subject. The author focuses on the makings of the artist from boyhood and concludes with Giotto's pivotal pilgrimage to Assisi, where his frescoes are still revered today. He characterizes the shepherd boy cum master painter as both gifted and driven from the first. Growing up in pre-Renaissance Italy, young Giotto takes the family's sheep to pasture each morning and spends the day sketching pictures of everything he sees on stones and in the sand. After viewing Cimabue's Madonna with Child being carried in a procession, Giotto becomes determined to confide his burning desire to the painter. Cimabue warmly receives Giotto and teaches him to mix pigments from minerals and plants. When the painter later sees the boy's rendering of a sheep he exclaims, "No painter I know has ever succeeded in making a creature look so alive." Giotto's parents then agree to allow the boy to study with Cimabue in Florence when he is old enough. Landmann's (Journey into the Blue Night) gilded, fresco-like paintings shimmer in earth tones. He authentically depicts the stylized landscapes and the flat perspectives of Giotto's time. For aspiring artists and art buffs alike. Ages 5-up. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Melissa A. Caudill
Long ago, there was a young shepherd boy who was easily distracted from his work by his passion to draw. Transport yourself back to his time during the Pre-Renaissance era and meet the famous Giotto, whose paintings cover the walls of several Italian churches. As a young child, Giotto meets an artist who visits his small village. The painter shows him how to make his own paints and comments on the talent that Giotto demonstrates in his art. When Giotto turns fifteen, his parents allow him to go to Florence to become an apprentice to an artist. It doesn't take him long to become a top-notch painter. The illustrations are rich and warm--full of earthy browns, oranges and glittering golds. This book would be a welcome addition in a teaching unit on art history.
Peter H. Morgan
...the illustrations by Bimba Landmann are extraordinary in their color and detail, evoking Giotto's own artistry.
The Hungry Mind Review
Kirkus Reviews
A picture book aimed at older readers, this fictitious biography of Giotto explains how such an artistically inclined child might have been discovered and mentored. In the Middle Ages there was neither the choice of media nor the sense of permanence associated with art today. Lacking other materials, the boy Giotto probably drew in sand, or on stones with charcoal. His father ignores his talent, wanting his son to help herd the family sheep. He forbids his son to attend a religious ceremony, but from the window the boy spies a wonderful painting carried in the procession. He finds out who created it, and manages to meet the older painter, Cimabue, who gives him colors to work with. After spending a day drawing instead of herding sheep, Giotto hides from his father, whom he expects to be very angry. Instead, his father and Cimabue arrive, and are surprised by his talent. The older artist convinces Giotto's father to let the boy come study as an apprentice, and it isn't long before the apprentice surpasses the master. This moving tale will ring true for any child struggling for recognition, both in the world of the arts, and in the world of adults. Landmann's illustrations make this book especially meaningful: they capture the essence of Giotto's work without copying him, and there's both a Byzantine and a modern look to her birds (they are almost all eyes), and the almond-eyed characters that inhabit this elegant story. (Picture book. 8-12)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374309312
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
10/21/1999
Edition description:
1 AMER ED
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.96(w) x 12.36(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Paolo Guarnieri is an art critic specializing in contemporary painters, and Bimba Landmann is the illustrator of prizewinning children's books, including Journey into the Blue Night. They are married and live in Milan, Italy.

Jonathan Galassi, who has translated the poems of Eugenio Montale, lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >