'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 25 July 2011

Review: Lives of the Great Artists

I love a book that grabs you and pulls you headlong into its pages just by its front cover alone. And Lives of the Great Artists certainly does that.

Celebrating the lives of many of the world's great artists, this book is a joy to wander through. From Giotto to Turner and Vincent Van Gogh, from Rembrandt to Monet to Da Vinci and Goya, this is an art lover's dream, even if you're not a kid.

Penned in rough chronological order, each entry features a short narrative on each artist, taking children directly into their world by close association.

"Giotto lowers his eyes from the star-studded ceiling of the Arena Chapel in Padua... He has just finished painting stores about Jesus and Jesus's mother Mary all over the walls..." Inset boxes add information on several artworks, and the text is further complemented with biographical information.

There are several artwork displays per artist, with notes on where to get additional information and some interesting Did You Knows.

The book is beautifully laid out and designed, making for a book that is attractive as it is fascinating and educational. A chronology of each artist is included at the back of the book, along with a glossary and sites where major collections are held.

A must-have for art teachers and anyone in love with the masters. Sigh.

Title: Lives of the Great Artists
Author: Charlie Ayres
Abrams, $29.95 RRP
Publication Date: September 2008
ISBN: 9780500238530
Format: Hard cover
For ages: 8+
Type: Picture Book, Junior Non-Fiction