File Size: 32138 KB
Print Length: 80 pages
Publisher: NBM Publishing (February 1, 2016)
Publication Date: February 1, 2016
But here, in " Cruising Through the Louvre" they get it just right. Both the story approach and the drawing are quite satisfying.
The particular story is clever. The artist wanders the Louvre mulling over what sort of Louvre book he's going to draw. That's simple enough; there's no dialogue; there's minimal internal monologue. Nevertheless, we get a real sense of the artist, his life, and the challenge he faces. Practically nothing heavy or profound, but remarkably engaging and self-effacing, which is the exact opposite of what one expects.
And the sketching is loaded with récréation and jokes. Hundreds and hundreds of character sketches as the artist generally watches people look at the art. The range of characters is different and diverse. Plenty of visible jokes about people implementing the same positions as the objects they are contemplating. Jokes about how people connect to art. A smart set of drawings showing what Mona Lisa sees as she looks out at the tourists taking a look at her. And all of this is performed with understated charm and great technique and restraint.
So, while it would be possible to dismiss this as just a long, clever Louvre souvenir book, it is really quite accomplished and entertaining, and loaded with style and humor. A nice find., Rather than story centered on the many works of art the Louvre museum contains, Prudhomme focuses here on those who come to see it.
The pages appear to be reproduced from pencils, giving everything a smudgy look, without strong description between the viewers and the art viewed. Honestly, that is part of his point, but stylistically, the attention does not have many resting factors, blurring elements together. I also didn’t care for the opening, where the artist has a cell-phone discussion about the progress of his book. (Later, he acknowledges that in real life, taking phone calls in the museum is against the rules. ) Like hearing someone in an actual museum, I found it a self-centered distraction.
Some individual images are interesting, particularly in juxtaposition between life and art — a teacher surrounded by kids in front of a picture of the Virgin Martha surrounded by angels, a striking woman viewing the Mona Lisa — but I discovered the people too often appearing insubstantial. It’s hard to make out details at times. I expect an e book like this to make me want to visit the art gallery, and Cruising Through the Louvre was surprisingly inadequate in this regard. This really is a much better memento, after browsing Louvre, than an invitation.
“You can drown yourself quickly here, ” states our narrator. That’s true, particularly as so much of the book is a gray wash, sweeping over without drawing the readers into the images. (The publisher provided a review backup. Review initially posted at ComicsWorthReading. com. )
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