Children in Painting

Marie-Christine Autin Graz

In the same way Caravaggio was the inspiration behind Jewels in Painting, so Fra Angelico is the starting point for Children in Painting. It was while I was looking at his Last Judgement in the convent of San Marco in Florence that two child angels filled me with happiness. They are meeting in Paradise and embrace with tenderness before entering the dance of eternal happiness. They make you believe in true love. Fra Angelico is divine but is a child so? From the day of his birth until the age of ten, one might believe so. This is the reason why no child over ten features in this book. Having a child is a universal desire. A child is life, a child is love. Having to choose amongst an infinite number of pictures, I have attempted to select the most representative ones in Italian, German, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, English, American, Swiss and French painting, in which children play, laugh, kiss, cry, eat or sleep. Each of them reveals a masterpiece, in which the artist has exchanged his knowledge for a marvellous innocence. the ordinary becomes extraordinary, truth reveals beauty and beauty reveals truth. This book is as much for adults as it is for children, who will hopefully be encouraged to delve further into the world of art. To understand it is to start loving it: admire it and let yourself be carried away from everydays routine.