From Publishers Weekly
This intriguing introduction to two esteemed painters, published in association with the Art Institute of Chicago, spans two months at the end of 1888, when Gauguin accepted van Gogh's invitation to live and work at his yellow house in Arles. Laced with quotes from letters the artists wrote to others, Rubin's (Margaret Bourke-White) narrative underscores the contrasts between the duo's living and painting habits. For van Gogh, "Thick swirls of strong colors expressed his feelings his love of nature, his joy in painting," while Gauguin "painted more slowly.... He spread the paints smoothly in careful shapes." Van Gogh painted from nature, Gauguin "from his imagination feelings, fantasies, and dreams." The author's incisive, accessible analysis of some of the paintings created during their time together accompanies crisp reproductions of their work. Smith's (Circus Train) lifelike watercolor and gouache portraits effectively convey the distinctive characteristics of each man as well as the particulars of the setting and era. Sadly, their constant bickering, according to the author, eventually culminated in a quarrel that ended with van Gogh cutting off part of his own ear and precipitated Gauguin's departure from Arles. Rubin concludes with concise biographical sketches of each artist. This appealing volume will likely spark an interest in the artists' complete works. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-For a brief period in 1888, two of the world's greatest artists lived and worked together in Arles, in southern France. Though only lasting about eight weeks, this tumultuous period and relationship influenced the work of both men. Rubin does an excellent job of contrasting their two styles (and temperaments) and clearly describes how differently each one treated the same subject. The illustrations include reproductions of their paintings and excellent pictures of the men at work and home. The artwork isn't captioned, so careful looking and reading of the text is necessary for someone unfamiliar with these artists to determine who painted what. This book provides an excellent introduction to the study of these painters and their styles. It was produced in conjunction with the Art Institute of Chicago, which hosted the exhibition "Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Studio of the South," and includes brief biographies.
Robin L. Gibson, Perry County District Library, New Lexington, OH
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.