Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes (and What the Neighbors Thought)

Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes (and What the Neighbors Thought)


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Most people can name some famous artists and recognize their best-known works. But what's behind all that painting, drawing, and sculpting? What was Leonardo da Vinci's snack of choice while he painted Mona Lisa’s mysterious smile? Why did Georgia O'Keeffe find bones so appealing? Who called Diego Rivera "Frog-Face"? And what is it about artists that makes both their work and their lives so fascinating—to themselves, to their curious neighbors, and to all of us? This book presents the humor and the tragedy in twenty artists' lives as no biography has done before.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544252233
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 07/01/2014
Series: Lives of . . . Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 428,785
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

Kathleen Krull has written much innovative nonfiction for young people, including all of the books in the Lives of . . . series, and has made a chatty, accessible approach to biography her hallmark. She lives in San Diego, California. Visit her website at

Kathryn Hewitt's caricatures of famous figures led kids to dub the Lives of . . . series the "Big Head" books. She has illustrated many books for young readers, some of which she also wrote. She lives in Santa Monica, California. Visit her website at

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

A CCBC Choice

"Fresh, spirited, and unconventional."—Kirkus Reviews

"A lively, entertaining presentation."—Booklist

"Kids will enjoy this brush with greatness."—Bulletin

"Krull's brief biographies provide basic facts as well as intriguing details. The subjects chosen range from the famous (Michelangelo Buonarroti) to the infamous (Andy Warhol) to the less well known. Hewitt's caricaturelike illustrations reflect and extend the lively text."—Horn Book

Customer Reviews

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Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes (and What the Neighbors Thought) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michelangelo Buonarroti, Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, everyone has heard of them. Maybe not everyone has heard of Sofonisba Anguissola, Katsushika Hokusai, or Isamu Noguchi. Lives of the Artists is all about the people that went from rags to riches or stayed poor and had to sell paintings for necessities, but no one wanted to buy them because they weren¿t very good. It tells about their life before they became famous, their life being famous, and some little details in between. Even if nobody liked their paintings and they weren¿t being sold, after their death, someone would finally realize how the paintings changed the way people draw today. I would highly recommend this book because it is filled with very interesting details about the different artists and how their lives were filled with unpredictable events. Most of the artists in the book knew another artist and was good friends with him/her. Michelangelo was good friends with Leonardo Da Vinci and sometimes they were even enemies, but they had some good times together. Isamu Noguchi knew Frida Kahlo, but Diego Rivera, her partner, didn¿t like it and actually threatened Noguchi with a gun involved. Many of the artists went to France to study art and died there. Mary Cassatt moved there early in her life, and died there in 1926. Leonardo Da Vinci moved to France to paint a picture for the King of France and died in 1519. Vincent Van Gogh moved to France and lived in a four-room apartment, he died there in 1890. Almost all of the artists lived somewhere other than the United States. Rembrandt Van Rijn was born in Leiden, Holland and he also died there in 1669. Marc Chagall was born in Pestkovatik, Russia, but moved to France and died there in 1985. Michelangelo Buonarroti was born and died in Italy. These people didn¿t become famous the first time they picked up a brush they practiced until they were good enough for art dealers to sell their art. Lives of the Artists is all about the interesting lives of famous artists that people may or may not have heard of. I recommend this book to anyone interested in famous artists such Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, or maybe even Katsushika Hokusai. E. Gray
dduning on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book written for children to have snapshot views of famous artists throughout history. I love that there are little known facts included in the articles to spark imaginations while reading non-fiction.
artlibby on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book provides a behind the scenes tour to twenty world renowned artists. It glimpses over the art historical data and jumps right into the juicy details of their lives. For instance, did you know that Georgia O'Keeffe lived to the ripe old age of ninety-eight, and then bequeathed her ranch and many paintings to a young man less than half her age? Or, that Marc Chagall often painted in the nude? (You will never look at his paintings the same again!) This book is littered with fun facts and interesting personality tidbits that will forever change your perception of these intriguing individuals. Each artist is discussed in around four pages, which include a full page illustration of the artist and a shortlist of the artist's best-known artworks. The amusing illustrations depict the artists with larger that laugh heads and visual clues about their lives. Little groupings of drawings are also included to break up the lengthier blocks of text. A must for students interested in the art world, and a great way to humanize the giants of art history.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kathleen Krull tells intriguing details about thelives of twenty artists of the world, including DaVinci,Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Matisse, Chagall, O'Keeffe, Dali, andPicasso. All of the artists come across as having lived extremelyeccentric lives.
viviandoughty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kathleen Krull manages to fully engage the reader by adding interesting bits of information about each artist. Illustrations provide a humorous look at the subject as well. This collection serves as a great method to engage young readers and, hopefully, propel them along to deeper research regarding their subjects.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago