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Matisse from A to Z (Artists from A to Z) Hardcover – November, 1995


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Opening up this small book is like dipping into a box of brightly wrapped bon-bons, the treats being brief but piquant glimpses of the French post-impressionist's life and work. Sellier's highly imaginative, abecedary-style primer uses unexpected words ("appendicitis," "fog," "U.S.A.") to propel lively mini-essays on color, subject matter, composition and the artist's career. (The key words alone, rendered in French with English translation, vividly illustrate the rewards of cross-cultural pollination.) Plentiful illustrations, crisply reproduced in color and black-and-white, share space with photographs of Matisse, his models and his family. The attractive layout reflects the artist's decorative style and versatility, and the text successfully complements the book's visual vibrancy with sprightly observations that excite the reader's interest. This introduction to Matisse offers both present pleasures and the promise of satisfaction to be gained from further adventures into this artist's world. All ages.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-7?The structure of an alphabet book provides endless opportunities for organizing themes, for employing each letter's availability for identifying some bit of content. Here, a form of faux biography uses each letter's double-page spread to highlight some French word that helps characterize Matisse's life: the Gandoura (a Moroccan dress) points out his North African travels and his love of dressing his models in costumes; Nus (nudes) is the other side of the coin?his involvement with undressed females; etc. Thus readers quickly forget this book's ABCishness and pick up, rather, the tidbits of art, commentary, and gossip that allow them to get to know the artist. They learn of his fondness for light and the color red; of the "clear, crystalline, precise, limpid" atmosphere of France's southern coast; and finally, of the sickness that kept him bedridden and motivated his special brand of collage. Small, carefully reproduced artworks, usually three per spread, illustrate the assorted themes. Even though the book is small, the spare, highly selective, and sensitive text combines with these pictures to create a sense of personality that is often lost in full-blown biographies. A fine introduction to one of Europe's modern masters.?Kenneth Marantz, Art Education Department, Ohio State University, Columbus
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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