- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Children's LiteratureItalian artist Bimba Landmann has created sixteen constructions based on the life of Marc Chagall (1887-1885) as related in his autobiography. This book was surely a labor of love for Landmann, designing, fashioning, and assembling figures, objects, and backgrounds from many materials, such as paper, metal, clay, fabric, plants, and small found objects. Some scenes are framed in rough wood, while others spill out onto the pages. Readers will find reflections of Chagall's own work: lavish use of color and fantasy, a suggestion of cubism, and many motifs from his paintings, including goats, cows, violins, and the wooden houses of his beloved Vitebsk. Some scenes show small reproductions of Chagall paintings, like the Parisian cat and several images of the green violinist, while the text presents important events of the artist's life in the first person, as if he were speaking to the reader. The story ends as Chagall arrives in New York in 1941; this scene is the least effective with its murky colors and heavy stars made from sequined braid. Chagall did write about his own life, and the best way to approach his paintings is, of course, to see the works themselves. Still, this is quite an achievement—a distillation of Chagall's world that may inspire viewers to learn more about his work. Landmann includes a useful and accurate timeline of his life, but no bibliography. Several Web sites present Chagall's paintings (www.mcs.csuhayward.edu/~malek/chagall10.html offers ten representative ones), and students living in larger cities will be able to view some in local museums. 2006, Eerdmans, Ages 7 up.
—Barbara L. Talcroft