An Artists Album

M. B. Goffstein, Author HarperCollins Publishers $12.95 (24p) ISBN 978-0-06-021994-9
Goffstein's simplified, lyrical writing will ignite her readers' imaginations and teach them to see, to feel, not merely look at the obvious in great works. Small but excellent reproductions of paintings and drawings in this book are masterpieces by artists of different eras, whose styles were entirely dissimilar. Yet they are united by a common spirit that kept them striving to convey an idea or emotion of sorrow, awe, love. Goffstein reflects on Johannes Vermeer who created ""spacious, light-filled paintings'' of Delft in the 17th century. ``Did the six daughters model for their father?'' the author wonders. ``We see girls with their features on the streets of New York. Are they the descendants of Vermeer?'' Her acute sensibilities then fix our thoughts on the muses inspriring artists of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Here is Eugene Boudin, not the angel that Courbet called him (``to know the skies so well''). The last of Norman sailors, he was ``bound to paint their contemplation of the sea and sky.'' The examples of art by Woodland Indians struck another chord in the author. Her photo displays Doll, by an Indian woman: ``And look at her crooked smile. She's heard lies. She's seen starvation.'' Addressing Claude Monet, Goffstein reminds him how the poet Mallarme ``tightly held the small painting you gave him . . . '' as the world cherishes the beauties he immortalized on canvas. But above all, it's the struggle of Paul Cezanne that makes us profoundly aware that all great paintings cost the artist dear. ``For beside the dream in his own mind, a great artist dies a failure.'' (All ages)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
Hardcover - 24 pages - 978-0-06-021995-6
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