Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Claude Monet – 3 stars

(2001) 22 mill. S24.95. Kiki & Associates. PPR. Color cover Closed/captioned.

Did you know that the folks who draw caricatures at fleamarkets and fairs owe a debt to Claude Monet? Indeed, some of the young Monet’s earliest works were line drawings for hire-complete with exaggerated features. An animated version of the popular book, which introduces the French impressionist artist Monet to kids in a friendly and accessible way, the program shows children how blobs of paint (viewed close-up) turn into beautiful images when viewed from a distance as the viewer’s eyes “mix and blend” the colors.

While Monet and his “buddies” (among them Renoir) had trouble, initially, finding acceptance for their bright and cheery im­ pressionist works (consisting of colors, shadow, and light) of images found in nature-at a time when almost photo-realistic paintings were the rage­ their persistence eventually paid off.

As an added plus, real photos of the paintings arc presented as cutaways, and at video’s end, viewers are provided with a list of each painting’s current location.

Also available in the series: Vincent Van Gogh. Recommended. Aud: E, I, P. (C. Block)