Looking at Pictures: An Introduction to Art for Young People

Overview

Featuring more than 150 stunning illustrations in full color, combined with clear, entertaining prose, Looking at Pictures introduces readers to the basic concepts and vocabulary of painting. This revised edition has a fresh, contemporary design; all art has been re-scanned and separated; the specs and captions have been updated based on new information; and five new images resulting from technical and curatorial advances are included. Drawing on the incomparable collection of The National Gallery, London, the ...

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Overview

Featuring more than 150 stunning illustrations in full color, combined with clear, entertaining prose, Looking at Pictures introduces readers to the basic concepts and vocabulary of painting. This revised edition has a fresh, contemporary design; all art has been re-scanned and separated; the specs and captions have been updated based on new information; and five new images resulting from technical and curatorial advances are included. Drawing on the incomparable collection of The National Gallery, London, the book features Leonardo, Rembrandt, Matisse, Seurat, Picasso, and many more. Watercolors by Charlotte Voake add humor and charm. The book includes an index of artists and subjects.

A children's guide to the collection of the National Gallery, London.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Richardson's Inside the Museum: A Children's Guide to the Metropolitan Museum of Art jaunt through London's National Gallery covers such basic topics as the purposes of paintings, the function of frames and why people go to museums, as well as color, light, composition and subject matter. Copious reproductions including more than 150 color reproductions of works by nearly 80 of the usual European old boys and one woman cram the pages. Voake Mr. Davies and the Baby supplements these with small cartoons that riff on the artwork or frame cross-references. While much of the information is interesting, Robertson has traded depth for breadth, and her writing scants on details that might charge the writing with immediacy. Biographical details are sketchy at best; dates and dimensions of the works are absent; and the visually noisy layout reduces Leonardo's Virgin of the Rocks to a kind of wallpaper. Generally undistinguished and sometimes muddied, the reproductions reflect Richardson's remark about museum-going: "Sometimes people just want to get out of the rain." All ages. Apr.
Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Richardson's (Inside the Museum: A Children's Guide to the Metropolitan Museum of Art) jaunt through London's National Gallery covers such basic topics as the purposes of paintings, the function of frames and why people go to museums, as well as color, light, composition and subject matter. Copious reproductions (including more than 150 color reproductions) of works by nearly 80 of the usual European old boys (and one woman) cram the pages. Voake (Mr. Davies and the Baby) supplements these with small cartoons that riff on the artwork or frame cross-references. While much of the information is interesting, Robertson has traded depth for breadth, and her writing scants on details that might charge the writing with immediacy. Biographical details are sketchy at best; dates and dimensions of the works are absent; and the visually noisy layout reduces Leonardo's Virgin of the Rocks to a kind of wallpaper. Generally undistinguished and sometimes muddied, the reproductions reflect Richardson's remark about museum-going: "Sometimes people just want to get out of the rain."
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
After a glimpse behind the scenes at London's National Gallery, Ms. Richardson explains why artists created the paintings now in its 13th- through 19th-century collection. With reference to more than 60 of the works, she then focuses on 12 thematic areas and describes facets of each painter's technique-the use of perspective, to trick the eye, for example, and the juxtaposition of pure, complementary colors to create the feeling of a dazzling, sun-drenched day.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Richardson has chosen European paintings from the fourteenth century to contemporary time in the National Gallery in London, England, to examine with readers. Twelve sections, each focusing on a key work, explore major themes such as color, light, and perspective. In the introductory pages, she discusses the role of an art gallery and what goes on there behind the scenes, carefully explaining that the paintings in the book are reproductions. She also encourages readers to see the originals, or if that is not possible, to go to their local museum to further explore the themes introduced. There are over 150 illustrations distributed among the book's eighty pages, including many informative details as well as reproductions of related complete works, all sharply printed to enhance thoughtful inspection. And Voake's many small, light-hearted ink and watercolor sketches pick up bits of reproductions while also framing suggestions of what to look for with imaginative relevance. Although large amounts of textual and visual information are presented, the pages are designed for inviting browsing with enough white space to prevent crowding. This approach to the art world provides an introduction to a range of significant artists, but more important, it illuminates the techniques artists exploit to create their works. There is an index and list of the artists and works included. This title was done with the cooperation with The National Gallery, London. Revised Edition. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—Using the works in the National Gallery, London, Richardson examines various ways of looking at works of art. Chapters include types of paintings (landscape, portrait, still life, etc.) and techniques. The author walks readers through the process of looking at composition, light, color, and symbols, and draws interesting comparisons between different paintings with similar subject matter. However, the design of this book, with its small typefaces and lack of pull-quotes, gives it a dense quality that the interesting text does not deserve. The author makes many excellent points, but the layout does nothing to draw attention to them. Sketchy, cartoony illustrations seem a little young for the intended audience, take up valuable page space, and look anemic next to the richly colored, fine-quality art reproductions. In addition, the title and subtitle imply a comprehensiveness that is not represented within: all of the art is from western Europe, almost all of it is by men, and all of the works are paintings. Antony Mason's A History of Western Art (Abrams) is more comprehensive; The Art Book for Children (Phaidon, both 2007) is more lively. This revision does not represent a significant update of the 1997 edition, although the color is better.—Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD
School Library Journal
Gr 5 UpThis excellent and well-rounded art-appreciation book delves into the world of painting using works from London's National Gallery that span 700 years. First, the author takes readers behind the scenes, focusing on how paintings are selected and hung as well as the detailed labor of restoration. The remaining chapters present major themes in the study of art including color, light, subject matter, and perspective. Excellent-quality reproductions supply marvelous examples and often include smaller close-up images to show detail. In addition to the reproductions, Voake's charming, decorative illustrations, inspired by the paintings themselves, decorate the margins and enhance an already magnificent book. Tips for closer observation highlight details and pose questions. In the chapter on color, Titian's Bacchus and Ariadne is pictured with a chart of how colored pigments such as lead-tin yellow, crimson lake, and ultra-marine are made. For the discussion on perspective, Hobbema's The Avenue at Middelharnis provides a perfect illustration. How and why an artist is able to achieve such an effect is clearly explained by paintings marked with straight lines showing points of perspective. Rembrandt's Belshazzar's Feast is a dramatic example of the use of light. Photos of a child taken with two different lighting sources further illustrates the point. Readers will come away from this title wanting to hurry to the nearest museum or gallery to practice their new viewing prowess.Helen Rosenberg, St. Scholastica High School, Chicago, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Art history for the populace is back in vogue; to that end, Richardson explores painted treasures from the National Gallery in London, covering both aesthetic considerations and technical ones, e.g., readers learn not only about perspective and Impressionism, but how paint is mixed and canvases are stretched. She is at her best when divulging little hints that allow readers to comprehend how an artist's style and technique influence the view they see, e.g., Hendrick Avercamp, who could neither speak nor hear, used pinks and browns to create warmth in a winter skating scene that is not a real view, but one he pieced together from drawings. Voake's illustrations are informative and amusing; the full-color reproductions are generally good, with the exception of highlighted areas meant to focus on painting details. Many of these are so small that that readers will only be able to focus on the frustration of not being able to see them more clearly.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810982888
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 1,125,067
  • Age range: 10 - 16 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Joy Richardson is the author of several art-appreciation books for children and guides to the British Museum and the Museum of Mankind, both in London. The National Gallery, London, houses one of the greatest collections of Western European paintings in the world.

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