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Publisher's Summary

Whether visiting museums and galleries or taking Art History courses, we often marvel at the brilliant artwork, but learn little about the artists behind the creations. Kathleen Krull's acclaimed Lives of the Artists examines 20 brilliant artists and tells us why their neighbors had so much to whisper about. From DaVinci to Rembrandt, van Gogh to Matisse, and Picasso to Warhol, you'll learn about both their artistic masterpieces and their personal messes. Fun and lighthearted, yet full of solid information, trivia, and provocative commentary, Lives of the Artists presents objective, 3-dimensional biographies of the world's great artists.
(P)1996 Audio Bookshelf; ©1995 by Kathleen Krull; Cover Illustration: ©1995 by Kathryn Hewitt

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating!

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.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My go to book

I have listened to this several times. As an artist myself, I find the varied lives inspiring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • new york, NY, USA
  • 05-22-07

innacurate but fun

very easy to listen to though many facts were embellished or wrong. Not a very in depth book but def fun to have on in the car.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Wish I could figure out how to exchange this book.

I was looking for something in-depth and lengthy to listen to while working. This book was so disappointing. I wish I had noticed the length was only 2 hours. It basically skimmed a variety of artist very quickly and felt like it was over before it even began.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Nice summary of some of our historical great artists

The content is interesting, performance is well done, would have liked each segment to be not quite so brief (I wanted more personal detail!), but a great overview of some of the most well-known artists through history.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

More Book Report Than Book

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.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

EXTRAORDINARY ARTISTS

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.”