Lives of the Great Artists

Overview

An original and delightful approach: imagined visits to artists' studios bring art vividly to life for children.
Through the pages of this book, young readers step into a famous artist's studio in medieval Germany, Renaissance Italy, or nineteenth-century France. As the making of a particular work is described, the child smells the paint, hears the chisel chipping into marble, or experiences the wonders of a working printing press.
The twenty ...

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Overview

An original and delightful approach: imagined visits to artists' studios bring art vividly to life for children.
Through the pages of this book, young readers step into a famous artist's studio in medieval Germany, Renaissance Italy, or nineteenth-century France. As the making of a particular work is described, the child smells the paint, hears the chisel chipping into marble, or experiences the wonders of a working printing press.
The twenty artists are featured in easy-to-follow chronological order: Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Hans Holbein the Younger, El Greco, Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, Bernini, Velázquez, Rembrandt, Goya, Jacques-Louis David, Turner, Delacroix, Manet, Monet, and van Gogh. All have remarkable life stories that will entrance any child.
Beautifully produced illustrations include an introductory portrait or self-portrait of each artist, followed by reproductions of some of their greatest works. Both paintings and sculptures are represented, offering children an inspiring insight into the visual arts. The artworks—Michelangelo's colossal statue of David, van Gogh's self-portrait with bandaged ear, Velázquez's Las Meninas with little Infanta at center stage, Delacroix's dramatic Liberty Leading the People—have all been chosen specifically to appeal to a young audience.
Extended picture captions offer further information, focusing on key details or telling memorable anecdotes, and the book includes a listing of where the artworks can be seen.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cherie Ilg Haas
Twenty of the greatest European artists over the past 700 years are celebrated in this comprehensive study of their works and their times. Each artist is given a chapter dedicated to his most famous works and the historical context in which the paintings are relevant. Readers catch the painters in the moment in which they lived—the moments in which they were working on pieces such as the Mona Lisa—allowing the stories to come forth in the histories of the masters. Although detailed descriptions are given of the symbolism found in many of the included works, no assumptions are made; readers who are new to art history and those who are well versed in the subject will surely learn something new. Amongst the pages of beautiful paintings creative suggestions are offered, such as "Why don't you...draw a picture of someone famous?" Many websites are also provided, giving readers plenty of digital resources for more information on each artist. Reviewer: Cherie Ilg Haas
School Library Journal

Gr 4-8

Brightly written and augmented with activities, Web resources, and fun facts, this book profiles 20 European artists. Each chronological entry from Giotto to Van Gogh begins with a summary paragraph and a portrait before dropping readers into the artist's life. They accompany J.M.W. Turner as he sells a painting, and wait with Goya for the Spanish royal family, who are coming for a portrait sitting. Facts about each artist's life, technique, and importance are skillfully blended into these present-tense vignettes. The works of art chosen to represent each artist are heavy on the drama and detail, resulting in high kid appeal and interesting captions. In some cases, sketches are included. The book's design merits special mention: each artist's entry has its own palette, drawn from the works of art used as illustrations, and, despite the multitude of sidebars, the layout is clean and clear. Back matter includes "Chronologies of the Artists," locations of major collections of each artist's work, a glossary, and picture credits. Unfortunately, the title does not specify that this graceful, thoughtful volume covers only European artists, leading to the misleading-and offensive-impression that the author is declaring that the only important artists are European.-Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500238530
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 10/27/2008
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 971,803
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlie Ayres studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Sotheby’s Institute in London and was an editor of Art Review and V&A Magazine.

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