Bonnard from A to Z (Artists from A to Z)

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9780872264793: Bonnard from A to Z (Artists from A to Z)
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Replete with color reproductions, line drawings, and photographs, a book for children and adults alike introduces the life and work of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Parisian painter, describing his deft manipulation of light and color.

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Review:

This wholly delightful book, with beautiful pictures, graceful design, and a deft and telling text, is one of four in a new series for children that includes volumes on Chagall and Matisse. Each book lightly skips through the alphabet, teaching a bit of French along the way--A is for "Avocat" (lawyer)--as it tells the life story of a great artist in brief but vivid glimpses. (The books are translated from the French.) The writing is designed to draw readers (and young listeners) in: "January, 1887. It is extremely cold in the Law School. To warm himself, the professor, sporting an unruly mustache, paces back and forth while he lectures. In the fourth row, a thin, serious student takes notes. He is 20 years old and his name is Pierre--Pierre Bonnard." This you-are-there reportage style sweeps toward the inevitable: Bonnard, whose notebooks contain "more drawings than notes," enrolls in art school.

The Harry Potter books have amply demonstrated that children appreciate mellifluous writing, and those who also love art will find both here. In spite of the abbreviated format, no essential is left out. In the Bonnard alphabet, for example, M is for Marthe, who "does not yet know that by entering into Pierre's life she will penetrate to the heart of his work. Henceforth, she will be his only model." Adults who become entranced by this elementary series may go on to more complex biographies of Bonnard, such as Timothy Hyman's. But for a mesmerizing first glimpse into the life of this painter of color and light, Bonnard from A to Z is a treasure. --Peggy Moorman

Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

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