(P)1996 Audio Bookshelf; ©1995 by Kathleen Krull; Cover Illustration: ©1995 by Kathryn Hewitt
"A lively, entertaining presentation." (Booklist)
"This winning format of minibiographies and provocative commentary makes my children want to read/hear more." (Children's Book Review)
This book was fascinating, has great details about some of the more popular/well-known artists. It covers quite a few artists from all over and the parts of their lives that made them famous (or infamous) and more importantly - just plain interesting. It offers a peek into why they may have created what they did, what events and environment shaped their personality and more. The only reason why I'm not giving it five stars is that it really could be much longer and go more in depth with the biographies. It really just skims the surface and gives an overview - a good job of it, but not quite enough.
This was a staggering disappointment. It read like a 14-year old's book report, creating more questions than it answered and giving next to no real insight on the subjects. I am willing to concede that this may have been the result of overzealous editing, but either way, I hope someone was fired by the publisher.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
This is a brief introduction to a number of extraordinary artists, several well-known and a few rarely heard of. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Warhol, Rembrandt, Chagall, Rivera, O’Keefe, Matisse, and van Gogh are recognized by most people who have a passing interest in art. But, few art history dabblers have heard of William H. Johnson, Mary Cassatt, Sofonisba Anguissola, Maria Kahlo, Katsushika Hokusai, or Kathe Kollwitz.
At best, “Lives of the Artists-Masterpieces, Messes” will broaden a dilettante’s interest in visual art and make a reader look up some of their work. Kathleen Krull barely touches the lives she writes about but when one sees the work of the artists she chooses, her choices of subject make the book worth reading.
Kathleen Krull proves how little one knows of the lives of artists and their art work. As Plato wrote of Socrates, “I know something that I know nothing.”
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