Monday, May 19, 2008

An Artist's Life

I'd checked out a novel on Peter Bruegel, As Above, So Below, once before and nearly got a perma-ban because I kept it so long, without reading the thing. I had better luck this time.

The book uses Bruegel's works to talk about his life, and each one makes up a heading for a chapter. I had done my aborted colonial reading thing around this time last year, so a look at Holland before that era began was interesting to me. The author (who I don't remember, and I already returned the book) did use a Cheap Animal Trick not once, but twice, to illustrate imperial oppression, but it was effective. I didn't know much about Bruegel as an artist, so I did learn a lot from the book. If any of you are considering this one, I'd suggest taking a book of Bruegel's paintings out of the library as well -- the plates in this one are in black and white, and suck anyway.

I've put off writing about this one simply because it's one of those that I don't have much to say about. It simply is what it is, no more or less than what you'd expect, neither terribly emotionally moving nor a total wasteland; neither incredibly informative nor devoid of detail. I wouldn't steer anyone towards this, nor would I warn against reading it. If it interests you, go for it. If not, well, I doubt that reading it will change your mind.