The Natural World: Through the Eyes of Artists

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-- The purpose of these books is not for information or history, but rather for art appreciation. The full-color paintings reproduced on the front covers are an indication of the high quality of the art reproductions within. Each double-page spread introduces a different artist and features, in full color, one of his or her paintings. Where possible, the authors have included a self-portrait of the artist in the upper left, above a column of comments about the painter and about the painting. The reproductions are faithful to the originals, with clarity of detail and fine tonal quality. The choice of artwork is eclectic and apparently random, and the juxtaposition of antique and modern, realistic and abstract, creates interesting comparisons of style and technique. Only one woman artist, Rosa Bonheur, is included in Animals ; two are represented by still-life paintings in Natural World , and four women have pictures reproduced in Families. Non-European artists have similar representation. The text that accompanies each painting is conversational in tone. Some bits of information are given about the artist, although not enough to provide even a brief biography. The comments about the paintings are intended to lead readers to a deeper appreciation of the artist's technique or intent. Sometimes casual references are made to other artists with whom readers may, or may not, be familiar. The most serious fault in all of the books is mechanical. Whenever the pictures extend across both pages, the gutters cut deeply into them, often eliminating the very details referred to in the commentary. The idea of organizing an art book around a single topic has often been used. These titles are remarkable for their interesting choice of pictures, handsomely reproduced. Some are well-known works, but many are not to be found in other children's books, making the series a worthwhile addition to libraries wishing to expand their artbook collection. --Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780516092850
  • Publisher: Scholastic Library Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/1991
  • Series: The Artists of the World Ser.
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 9 years

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