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Seurat and La Grande Jatte: Connecting the Dots Hardcover – May 1, 2004
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5–More an analysis of the painting than a biography of the artist, Burleigh's oversized volume explicates Seurat's well-known composition. Because the artist was a private man, little is known about his personal life; by studying the technique and subject matter of La Grande Jatte, the author makes inferences about his subject's life and work habits. He explains that the many croquetons (paintings on cigar boxes) and small studies executed as research for the final huge painting (7' x 10') show the artist's attention to detail. Seurat's artwork is compared to that of his contemporaries, and Burleigh interweaves a detailed look at the painting with facts about the time period, quotes from other artists, and information about Seurat's unique style. Throughout, the author does a thorough job of explaining Seurat's invention of pointillism without using technical terms. Easy-to-read, with large reproductions, this is a grand introduction.–Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 3-6. Like Action Jackson (2002), by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, this picture book for older readers focuses on a single painting to introduce an artist's life and work--in this case, Georges Seurat's La Grande Jatte. Burleigh begins with direct observations about the painting's size, pointillist style, and composition, dropping facts about Seurat's life into his discussion. The text is somewhat uneven. Sophisticated language about the artist ("he was--as a friend put it--'haunted by night's magnificence'") mixes with sometimes-cloying phrases aimed at younger children ("What do we notice first?") and the many handsome reproductions of the painting are occasionally lost in the book's binding. But Burleigh's accessible observations will encourage children to think about basic art principles (how colors work together; what harmony means in a painting) and to look, linger, and find the stories, or at least the questions, in artwork. There are no source notes, but a selected bibliography, a glossary, and a time line close this attractive title, which has been published in association with the Art Institute of Chicago. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
Jonathan is now involved in video games design and has a great visual memory. At my private school, I would get an art poster and at assembly each morning, have a "masterpiece of the week". Soon, preschoolers through eighth graders knew the names of artists and masterpieces. "Oh, look, there's a Matisse!" one five-year-old said to their parents on a NYC elevator which had a poster of a Matisse exhibit. The parents were amazed and pleased.
So, this book is fantastic telling the background of a painting and artist children love. I stumbled upon this painting at the Chicago Art Institute when a professor was explaining facts about this huge painting. Note the two characters facing us: the little girl in white with her minder. The prof said she stood for innocence and was the only character NOT painted with dots, but brushstrokes.
This book explains the origin of Jatte - the island these people are on in the Seine is shaped like a jar. Fascinating. Learned lots of great facts about this painting from this book. It's a 5-star book.