Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Knights and Castles: Exploring History through Art

Knights and Castles: Exploring History through Art

Alex Martin
For ages 12 and up
Creative Publishing, 0000   ISBN: 1587284413

Let us take a journey back in time to the days when boys dreamed of becoming knights, when the rich and powerful lived in castles, and when men fought for honours, fame and fortune in jousting matches. Let us take a walk in a gallery of paintings that show what life was like during these times. There is much to learn by looking at art, for paintings can often tell a story. All you need to do is to look hard enough and use your imagination.

We are going to look at thirteen paintings that were created by such famous painters as Pieter Bruegel the Younger, Jean Fouquet, and Pedro Nisart. We are also going to look at masterpieces such as the famous Bayeux Tapestry and the Foissart Chronicle. For each work of art we can read about the people who created them, and then we can delve into all the information that the art gives us.

From the paintings we learn, among other things, what it was like to live in a fortified city in the time of King Clothar of France; we discover what it would have been like to attend a wedding feast; and we are able to appreciate what a medieval hunting expedition would have been like.

By combining studies of paintings with history, the author provides the reader with a very unique picture of medieval life. The reader comes to appreciate how hard life was in these times and how different life for the landed classes was from that lead by the peasants. The reader will learn how art is not just something to look at and to enjoy, but they will see how art can tell a story and show us what life in the past was like.

Beautifully reproduced photos of the art are found throughout the book, and in the back of this volume the reader will find a glossary and a timeline.

This is one of the books in the superbly produced “”Picture That!” series.