THE FANTASTIC JOURNEY OF PIETER BRUEGEL by Anders C. Shafer

THE FANTASTIC JOURNEY OF PIETER BRUEGEL

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

An emeritus professor of art, Shafer spins a few bare wisps of documentation into a series of diary entries chronicling a 16th-century artist’s journey from Antwerp to Italy and back. On the way, young Pieter stops to talk with peasants, marvels at the Alps, sees a Protestant prisoner, falls into an Ottoman raid on the town of Reggio, and meets the great Michelangelo. “He draws and sculpts like an angel, but stinks like a monkey. . . . I shall try to make my figures more solid and rounded.” He relates other incidents as well; nearly all are reflected in his few surviving paintings and drawings, 16 of which are reproduced in sharp, small images at the end. For the diary entries, Shafer wields his own pen and brush fluidly, sketching in large watercolors people and places, streets, mountains and other sights as Bruegel might have seen them. Shafer’s commentary on the appended works, and his analytical, page-filling biographical note, will be more meaningful to readers who have studied art and art history, but even those who haven’t, as yet, will get both a sense of how an artist might have incorporated his experiences into his work, and a glimpse of Europe in a tumultuous time. (Picture book. 9-12)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-525-46986-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2002