Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.
Children's LiteratureThe life and work of Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli are presented here in an outstanding format. The beauty of his art shines on the pages; readers will be amazed by the intricate devotional paintings, classical scenes, and portraits he created. Botticelli had the good fortune of being born in Florence at the time that city was at the forefront of the Renaissance. The son of a tanner, Botticelli became an apprentice goldsmith at the age of 10. Several years later he changed professions when he became apprenticed to the distinguished artist Filippo Lippi. Botticelli was a quick study and soon succeeded as an artist in his own right. He received many commissions to paint pieces for private chapels and public churches. He traveled to Rome at the request of a pope to decorate the walls of the Sistine Chapel. One of Botticelli's largest commissions was to provide manuscript illustrations for Dante's The Divine Comedy. Botticelli was an extraordinarily talented artist and this book, which is a title in the publisher's "Lives of the Artists" series, does him justice. The author does an excellent job of pulling together information from various disciplines and weaving it together in a coherent, engaging fashion. Readers will learn much about Renaissance Florence, Botticelli's patrons, including the Medici and Vespucci families, and the movements in European art that his work inspired. There is a glossary and an index back of the book. This is a great resource for middle school art classes. 2005, World Almanac Library, Ages 10 up.
Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 8 Up-Connolly and Mason explore these artists' lives from birth through death. Their influences, styles, and mediums are related to readers in words and pictures and, quite importantly, so are the milieus in which they worked. Botticelli's Medici-controlled Florence, Rembrandt's Dutch golden age, and the experimental and innovative times of Chagall and Monet are all given emphasis. The artists' contemporaries and patrons are credited as well. The introductions contain overall chronologies of the men's lives, and time lines on each spread give a synopsis of the information presented. The books' design connects all of the related information on each spread, resulting in a layout similar to that of the "Eyewitness" books (DK): many associated paragraphs of text and pictures grouped on a spread and separated by white space or blocks of color. However, these titles have less white space, smaller type, more information, and a more sophisticated vocabulary than most "Eyewitness" titles. Though at times this makes the texts a challenge to read, the format works well to demonstrate the complexity of the artists' lives and times. The books contain numerous color reproductions and, when possible, related photographs.-Heather E. Miller, Homewood Public Library, AL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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