WHAT MAKES A CASSATT A CASSATT? by Richard Mühlberger

WHAT MAKES A CASSATT A CASSATT?

Age Range: 10 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 In this Metropolitan Museum of Art series for children, MÅhlberger (Bible in Art, not reviewed) focuses on the artists' work rather than on their lives. For example, Mary Cassatt's friendship with Degas is stressed because of Degas's influence on Cassatt's style; her travels to Spain, Belgium, and Italy are mentioned to show her familiarity with the works of many masters. MÅhlberger intends to explain what makes an artist's style unique by presenting 12 examples of his or her product and describing them, and in the final spread he outlines his conclusions. What makes a Cassatt a Cassatt, he writes, are four distinct elements: the inspiration from Japanese prints, hands linking figures together and telling a story, unusual cropping of subjects, and solid lines with clear colors. With Cassatt it is perhaps possible to get a good idea of her style from 12 pictures and four simplified observations, but MÅhlberger really hits a wall when he attempts the same for Picasso (ISBN# 0-670-85741-6). Nearly every painting he shows is from a different period in Picasso's career, and there is absolutely no way to identify the bulk of Picasso's art from the outline in back, which focuses on Picasso's more abstract work. What Makes a Leonardo a Leonardo (ISBN# 0-670-85744-0) and What Makes a Goya a Goya (ISBN# 0-670-85743-2) are more successful, but they, too, suffer from an unsophisticated analysis. (Nonfiction. 10+)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-670-85742-4
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1994