Friday, April 6, 2007

Living in Color

Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
Pianist and Checker Players (1924)
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Not having much fine art exposure as a child or young adult, I am trying to make up for it now by (again) starting at the beginning with my boys. What exactly would be the beginning? I can't think of anything more simple than a board book. Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober have created a board book series, each book representing works by an individual artist. The authors weave a simple rhymed story around a handful of paintings by the artist. I highly recommend these books as an introduction to fine art for children (and their parents).

One of the first books I purchased in this series was A Magical Day with Matisse. The brightly colored paintings are perfect for sharing with a toddler, and yet the book also appeals to older children and adults. The Pianist and Checker Players immediately appealed to me. I loved the vivid colors, the way one of the checker players is resting his head on his hand while making a move, the idea of enjoying the evening playing games while someone plays a lively tune on the piano. This is one painting I would love to live in.

No comments: