An Imaginary Museum Tale About the History of Modern Art
Illustrated by the author
Translated from the French by Joanna Oseman
Sky Pony Press, NY: 2012
Goodreads rating: 3.31
My rating: 4/excellent
Endpapers: gray with blurry black 1" dots and plops of colorful paint dots as well
Title Page: all white, but font is in colors and type that look like pastel crayons were used
Illustrations: In the style of many different artists
My review on Goodreads: I was at the Philadelphia Museum of Art today and before leaving, sat on the floor of the (incredible) bookstore checking out the many children's picture books about art and artists. I loved this one. In it, the artist/author shows the different ways in which different important/famous artists would have painted the Mona Lisa if they'd used their own styles. I do wish that that premise might have been made a little clearer to kids (I knew that Monet, Picasso, vanGogh, Haring, Kandinsky and a dozen or so others had never painted any Mona Lisas, but kids might not understand that). Otherwise, it was a topnotch book with a great explanation of some of the different art movements in recent(or somewhat recent) history. I had to buy it. I've already read it twice.
Goodreads review: This book is about the fascinating history of modern painting through what many consider the most famous work in the history of art: the Mona Lisa by Léonardo De Vinci. Piotr acts as the museum guide for his young daughter throughout the book, taking us on a journey through an imaginary museum. He describes famous art movements and artists, including: impressionism, cubism, expressionism, favism, minimalism, surrealism; Monet, Manet, Cézanne, Picasso, Bacon, Pollock, and more. All of the most famous painters of the modern and contemporary art movements are explained with their own Mona Lisa portraits, in their signature styles. Throughout the book, Piotr acts as a guide, explaining to his daughter (and the reader) each genre of paintings in a clear, simple, and entertaining way. By the end of the book, we discover that he's actually the artist who's been painting all those Mona Lisa's and the results are spectacular.