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A young reader's introduction to a great Impressionist painter explores his solitary, difficult personality, his devotion to his family, his preference for indoor and studio settings, and his direct and engaging artistic style.
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Grade 8 Up-Meyer tells a good story; she is sensitive to historical fact, but also has a keen sense of narrative. Chronologically presented, but not slavishly bound to a literal time line, her narrative introduces readers to Degas, a man "full of contradictions"; provides some bits of family background; and then takes off into his art education and career. The author presents enough of the political and social scene to set the events and personalities into context. Other artists, such as Manet, Renoir, Cezanne, and Cassatt, show up as the script demands in order to point out Degas's rather self-sufficient character. Information is also given about his painting techniques and his reasons for choosing his subjects (race horses, ballet dancers, female nudes), his distain for those who painted outdoors ("give them a little buckshot"), as well as his contempt for critics. The 53 reproductions (35 in full color) are mostly small but are sharply reproduced. They provide a fine range of the artist's subjects, compositions, and mediums. Although several titles on Degas have appeared in recent years, none offers the scope or literary style of this welcome addition.
Kenneth Marantz, Art Education Department, Ohio State University, Columbus
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harry N. Abrams, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0810932202