Between Two Worlds: The Art and Life of Amrita Sher-Gil by Meera Sriram, illustrated by Ruchi Bakshi Sharma. Penny Candy Books, 2021. 9781734225945
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? Amrita Sher-Gil is the daughter of a Hungarian mother and an Indian father. She was raised in both Hungary and India. An artist from a young age, Amrita studied art in India, Italy and France. Her two worlds, India and Europe, informed her art. Amrita is always questioning authority, and her work is described as daring and shocking. At first her work didn’t sell, but eventually her work became more popular and she was acclaimed as having “redefined modern art in India.” Amrita died of illness at the age of 28.
Dreamy, colorful illustrations feature symbols and motifs that reference Amrita’s work and show her influences from her two worlds. Detailed back matter gives more information on Amrita’s life and work, including her date of birth. It also includes a bibliography, three examples of her paintings and a photograph of the artist.
Anything you didn’t like about it? We’re told that she worked at a time when few women were artists, but we’re not told when this is, and the illustrations don’t give us a feel for the time period. The back matter gives dates of her birth and other milestones.
To whom would you recommend this book? Older elementary school and middle school art lovers.
Who should buy this book? Elementary and middle school libraries, public libraries
Where would you shelve it? Biography
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Kerry A. Lamare, Robbins Library, Arlington MA
Date of review: October 8, 2021