Picture This: A First Introduction to Pa

Felicity Woolf, Author
Felicity Woolf, Author Doubleday Books for Young Readers $14.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-385-41135-6
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
This ambitious survey covers 27 works of art ranging from a 15th-century illuminated manuscript to a Jackson Pollack drip painting. The subtitle is somewhat of a misnomer: the book's focus on social, commercial and technical matters rather than the basic elements of story, shape and color make it better suited for children who are already attracted to art and want to learn about techniques and historical contexts. The introduction offers a politically responsible overview, giving credit to art created by women and non-Western cultures. (Two paintings by women are included, and the author writes that the Asian, African and South American artistic traditions deserve their own books.) Woolf's respectful tone verges on pedantry, but her pairings of word and image occasionally take wing, as when she relates the exciting story of Diana and Actaeon next to Titian's painting. Similarly, the account of a late Rembrandt self-portrait poignantly underscores the artist's fall from favor by pointing out his careworn expression and simple attire. Ages 8-up. (May)
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