Chronicle Books (CA), Hardcover, 9780811850995, 48pp.
Publication Date: September 29, 2005
Van Gogh's descriptions, arranged as a simple rhyme, introduce young readers to all the colors of the rainbowand beyond. The descriptive words combine with spectacular reproductions of many of the artist's most beloved and important works to create a perfect art book for young and old alike.
This slim volume, produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is an extraordinary accomplishment. Editor William Lach takes Van Gogh's own words from his letters to his brother Theo, translated closely or freely from French or Dutch, to describe the colors of some of his most famous and beloved paintings. Lach has rhymed them gently: "Leaves of silver turning to green, / stars sparkling, greenish, yellow, white, / a big bunch of violet irises, / and in my head a starry night." There's a single line of text per spread, each opposite a full reproduction or a detail of the painting that corresponds to the line. The book begins with a very brief introduction and ends with a complete list of the paintings with full description and a citation for the correspondence from which each description comes. Children and their adults will marvel at the sunflowers that are "twelve flowers that are light on light" or "a lady's clothes in black, black, black." Accessible to the youngest of connoisseurs. -Booklist