There's some truth to the commonplaces about the Renaissance and some use for this simplified biographical survey: though neither stimulating nor scholarly, it does delineate and relate the contributions of ten Italian painters from Giotto to Tintoretto, with a final chapter on developments in the rest of Europe. The author leans on Vasari for his ""lives,"" nothing that all is not documented. He provides from one to three color plates each, which is appropriate to the length of the text; in only one case--Piero della Francesca--is the pictorialization uncharacteristic and therefore inadequate. Much of the analysis is, as suggested, superficial (though the distinction between one-point and two-point perspective is well-developed); the writing is banal and tends to be redundant. Nevertheless, it will suffice as an introduction for the average eleven or twelve-year-old; older children can do better elsewhere.