Friday, 30 August 2013

Artful Readers Club - The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal

This book has been on my bedside for ages and I confess to not really knowing what it was going to be about, it was a recommended read. It is in fact the real life saga of a family going back to the 1870s. Edmund De Waal the author inherited the netsukes, small Japanese carved objects, from his uncle and set out to find out how they came into the family. I did not find this an easy read as there were many words I did not know and had to look up in the dictionary. It is easier when on my kindle. It was however worth the effort. It is a well written book and the history of the family is fascinating. This Jewish family left Odessa and travelled to Vienna and then Paris. They made their fortune and collected many art treasures among them the netsukes. The book charts the course of their ownership within the family and the confiscation of the families possessions when the Nazis invaded Austria. We know the netsuke survived this terrible period of the family history as Edmund inherits them. They ended up with his uncle Iggy in Japan. I will say no more in case someone wishes to read the book.
For my artwork I worked in Craft Artist 2 and made a collage of some of the elements of the book. Paris, the Ephrussi house in Vienna, Japan, Charles Ephrussi and three of the netsuke. The Hare, the Rat and the Barrel Maker.
Jen x