BOOKLIST-Degas-Sept10September 2010

Getting to Know the Wortd’s Greatest Artists: Edgar Degas. Aug. 2010. 22min. Getting to Know, DVD, $29.95  Grades 4-6.

From the ongoing Getting to Know the Wood’s Greatest Artists series, this colorful and engaging animated biography of painter-sculptor Degas is narrated by a cartoon version of the artist himself. Shown painting on a stage among dancers preparing for a performance, Degas tells his life story-his influences, travels, education, and interests; his movement from neoclassicism to impressionism; his friendships with Manet and other artists.

As he talks, stills of his artwork, period photos of Paris, an animated map of Italy, and more are shown, backed by appropriate music (e.g. an accordion medley for Paris) and entertaining sounds (horses’ neighing, crowds’ voices, etc.). An astonishing amount of information is conveyed about the art scene at the time and the well-loved Degas’ oeuvre (no starving artist was he!).

Culminating with stills of the featured anwork, captioned with formal titles and current locations (the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago), this is another winner in the justifiably popular series (see also Andy Warhol, 2007).

– Eloise Kinney