- Hardcover: 136 pages
- Publisher: NBM Publishing (May 13, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1681120348
- ISBN-13: 978-1681120348
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Guardians of the Louvre Hardcover – May 13, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Taniguchi tells the story of a Japanese artist who visits France and decides to spend several days at the Louvre. Shortly before going to the museum, he gets sick, and for most of the narrative, it is not clear if he is feverish, dreaming, or seeing things as they really are. Each day when the artist arrives at the museum, he sees things that should not be possible, such as people wearing clothes from other periods in history, empty rooms instead of crowded ones, and a woman who embodies the spirit of the Winged Victory of Samothrace statue. The artist is able to enter paintings, where he finds himself in different times and places, speaking to artists like Vincent van Gogh and admiring famous depictions of rooms and landscapes. This is a quiet, informative, and painterly work that sometimes feels like an infomercial for the Louvre. The title is oversize (bigger than a manga but not quite a coffee-table book), and since it's translated from Japanese, it reads from right to left. The story is illustrated mostly in earth tones, except for the Winged Victory of Samothrace, who wears a long pink gown. VERDICT This title will appeal more to adults than to young adults, although older teens with an interest in art and art history might also find this an enjoyable selection.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
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The set up isn't all that compelling--is it a fever dream, is it actually happening, is he in some halfway state? Those issues are mentioned but are really unimportant. The set up is an excuse to explore different artists, events, and works. Since the author and the main character are Japanese, readers also find out about the influence of some art pieces on 20th century Japanese art. The book has a lot of fascinating stories and trivia from the art world.
The book is also fun for anyone who has visited the Louvre, since the drawings authentically capture the interiors and many famous works like the Mona Lisa. Reading is like visiting again.
The book is published manga-style, reading comic panels right to left and beginning with what, in America, is the back of the book. I quickly adapted to the style, so I don't think it should be any challenge for other readers, but it is something to be aware of.
A very enjoyable and creative slice of art history!