The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse

Eric Carle

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse
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The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse

Eric Carle

I am an artist… begins Eric Carle’s vibrant tribute to the creative life. And just like an imaginative child, this is one artist who paints the world as he sees it - a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox, a black polar bear and a wonderful polka-dotted donkey. Filled with some of the most magnificently colourful animals of Eric Carle’s career, this is a book that celebrates imagination and the artist within us all. Inspired by the work of the great Expressionist painter Franz Marc, a founder of the artists' group known as Der Blaue Reiter ( The Blue Rider ), who famously used abstract blue horses in his paintings. Marc’s vibrantly colourful paintings influenced generations of artists, and fired the imaginations of children’s book artists far and wide. Examples of Marc’s paintings and a short biography are included at the end of the book.

Review

This is a simple, colourful picture book in the distinctive Eric Carle style, with a compelling historical background. Carle spent his boyhood in Nazi Germany, which banned expressionistic and abstract art, but his subversive art teacher secretly showed the young Carle the work of banned artists, including Franz Marc, who painted animals in bright and unusual colours. Carle was initially shocked by this radical style and use of colour, but was later inspired to use these methods in his own work. This book can be enjoyed simply as a vivid picture book for toddlers focusing on colour and animals, but also as homage to the extraordinary talent of Franz Marc, who was one of the key figures in the German Expressionist movement.

Angela Crocombe is from Readings St Kilda

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