By David Hockney and Martin Gayford
Illustrated by Rose Blake
In A History of Pictures, art critic Martin Gayford teams up with artist David Hockney to deliver an enlightening and entertaining discourse on art. The Introduction explains the book's format. It is an illustrated discussion between the artist and the art critic, each offering commentary on what he knows best. Gayford offers a more scholarly look at the history of an artistic period or work of art—the what and when, while Hockney offers an artists' perspective on the same—the why and the how.
Their conversations are accompanied by photos of actual art pieces, and cartoon illustrations by Rose Blake. Blake's playful illustrations add a lightness to the book and advance the conversation, showing simple explanations of concepts like depth and perspective, as well as explanations of early artistic tools like 16th century pinhole projectors, 18th century silhouette machines, and 19th century zoetropes. The authors and the illustrator appear in cartoon format throughout the book. The topics of each chapter are listed below.
Engaging and educational, A History of Pictures for Children should be in every school and public library. The suggested age range is 10-14 however, it will likely appeal to older kids with artistic interests as well. I would go so far as to suggest that adults will find it interesting also. I found it thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Well done!
Thinking About Pictures: Why do we make pictures?
Making Marks: What makes an interesting mark?
Light and Shadows: What is a shadow exactly?
Watch this Space: How do artists set the scene?
Mirrors and Reflections: How do artists play with light?
Painting and Photography: What tools do artists use?
Moving Pictures: Can pictures really move?
The Story Goes On: What's next for pictures?
Back matter includes an illustrated Timeline of Inventions, Glossary, Bibliography, List of Illustrations, and Index