Books by Claire d’Harcourt

ART UP CLOSE by Claire d’Harcourt
Released: Oct. 3, 2017

"Excellent for art lovers and for potential art lovers; both will be hooked by the search. (answer key, locations of art) (Nonfiction. 6-13)"
Art appreciation, taught with a puzzle element. Read full book review >
THE LOUVRE IN CLOSE-UP by Claire d’Harcourt
Released: March 1, 2004

Less a museum tour than an exercise in looking closely at art, this oversized gallery presents 34 works—all, with two exceptions, by European artists—from the Louvre, each bordered by a dozen or so enlarged details that viewers are invited to spot in the originals. At the end, brief, but dense essays on each piece's medium and meaning accompany visual keys that appear beneath flaps. Despite a closing note on the museum's history, readers won't come away with a clear picture of the Louvre's scope or design, nor is this likely to attract fans of Walter Wick's "I Spy" series and the like. Still, Eurocentrism aside, it should have some use in arts education, alongside Lucy Micklethwait's primers. (Nonfiction. 8-10)Read full book review >
BABIES CELEBRATED by Béatrice Fontanel
Released: Dec. 1, 1998

Don't let the title mislead you. This is not another gathering of cute baby photographs. It is instead a stunning visual survey of the ways in which babies in traditional cultures (in the Americas, Asia, and Africa, primarily) are fed, dressed, carried, and treated. Fontanel and d'Harcourt (who also collaborated on Babies: History, Art and Folklore, 1997) provide informed, sympathetic captions to extraordinary photographs depicting such things as babies being ritually massaged; wrapped in swaddling cloths; adorned with pigments and dressed in often brilliantly colored ritual clothes to bring good fortune; carried, in baskets, net bags, and slings, on backs and in the arms of siblings or parents; and fed. Several points are inescapable: in traditional cultures, babies go where their parents go—to the fields, to market, on visits. They are present almost from birth in the essential routines of these cultures. And in more traditional cultures babies are more immediately and closely integrated into society, with a greater variety of family and friends assuming some responsibility for care and protection. The range of cultures depicted (from the Kayapo of the Amazon to nomads in Tibet) is wide, and the photographs sharp, brilliant, and fascinating. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1997

In the Middle Ages, it was believed that a concoction of herbs boiled in white wine could aid conception, and a garlic clove was used for an early version of the home pregnancy test. According to a Paris police report, of 21,000 babies born in 1780, 19,000 were sent away to wet nurses outside the city. Fontanel, a French children's book author, and d'Harcourt, a book designer and illustrator, have gathered these and a host of other fascinating tidbits in this gallimaufry of art and history. From conception through infancy, no aspect of babyhood escapes attention. The colorful images range from HonorÇ Daumier's print of a pregnant woman overcome with a craving to bite a passing baker, to a 19th- century Japanese print of lounging pregnant women, the fetuses in their rounded bellies visible as though by sonogram, to photographs of early four-wheel baby carriages. A delight to look at and browse through. Read full book review >