Stories in Art : Volume
Teachers’ Notes for Stories in Art provide suggestions from which
you can formulate lesson plans.
my experience, all children love a story and whatever their artistic
ability, they also appreciate a fine piece of work, albeit with a
subjective view of what is pleasing to the individual.
introducing a selection of works and the artists who produced them,
it is hoped to convey a sense of history, an appreciation of art in
a variety of forms and a lasting appetite for visiting galleries,
collections or exhibitions.
takes many forms and uses a great variety of media subject to trends
of what is fashionable in different Ages, reflecting the culture of
their place of origin.
at the end of Stories in Art the child says “I liked that one” or
“I didn’t like that one”, may it be from a greater understanding or
more considered point of view than when he/she started?
Great Britain is rich in its many collections of great works of
art, and although a visit may have to wait until you are on holiday
in that area, depending upon your base, there should always be some
within easy reach of home (or school).
The focus of this programme is a selection of works made at Wilton
House, Wiltshire, so should be part of any itinerary, which includes
Stonehenge (10 miles away) and the cathedral city of Salisbury (only
3 miles away).
House has been the architecturally impressive stately home of the
Earls of Pembroke for over 450 years, being currently home to William
Herbert the 18th Earl of Pembroke.
programme takes us inside to meet a “detective” who will encourage
pupils to search for clues and the message or meaning of each piece
of work, thereby discovering the “STORIES IN ART”.
about three miles from the centre of the cathedral city of Salisbury
and about ten miles from the ancient monument of Stonehenge."
STORY 1 : Philip, 4th Earl of Pembroke and his Family
by Sir Anthony
van Dyck 1599-1641
large family portrait is located in the Double Cube Room, so called,
as the programme explains, because of its dimensions.
Inigo Jones, who introduced the Palladian style of architecture
to this country, designed it on the orders of the 4th Earl.
The central feature of Jones’ suite of State Rooms, the Double
Cube Room has been visited by most of our monarchs since Charles
1. Variously used over the centuries as a dining room, a sitting room
and a ballroom, it was the H.Q. of Southern Command during the Second
World War and was filled with maps of Normandy so that General Eisenhower
and Winston Churchill could plan the D-Day landings.
More recently, the room has been used as a film location.
For example, it has provided historical settings for “The
Madness of King George”, “Sense and Sensibility”, “Mrs. Brown”,
“Barry Lyndon” and “Bounty”.
Dyck’s life and methods of working are outlined. He was Flemish, coming from an area that is
now part of modern day Belgium. He
became court painter to Charles 1 and soon after his arrival in England
he was knighted at St. James’s Palace.
4th Earl of Pembroke and his Family
by van Dyck"
the Civil War, the Earl supported first one side and then the other..."
is said to have never worked for more than an hour at a time on
each portrait." |
servant cleaned his brush..." |
van Dyck welcomed the next sitter"
This family portrait, in oil on canvas, was probably commissioned
on the occasion of the marriage between Philip’s eldest son, Charles,
and Mary Villiers, daughter of the Duke of Buckingham. It was painted in London, 1634-5.
painting, reputedly the largest ever painted by van Dyck, is described
in some detail and the relationships between the members of the
family group and between the Earl and Charles 1 are explained. The Earl had paid homage to the King by obtaining
the services of his court painter.
It was then a matter of courtesy to own and display a portrait
of Charles 1.
Wilton there are also portraits of Queen Henrietta Maria and three
of their children.
children, who were to become Charles II, James II and Princess Mary,
spent their Summers at Wilton with their parents. (Mary’s son, William, married James II’s daughter,
Mary, and they ruled England as William and Mary.)
a theory is put forward as to how this huge painting was transported
from London to Wilton.
must have been rolled up and brought by horse drawn wagon..."
relationships – paint a family group or a group of friends.
photographs to paint portraits of family or pets, which could then
be displayed in a Gallery.
a child in period costume – paint a portrait thinking about the background,
colours, textures of cloth etc.
historical elements could also be used if relevant.
STORY 2 : The Bird Trap
Pieter Brueghel the Younger 1564-1638
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Bird Trap can be seen in the Upper Cloisters. The 11th Earl employed James Wyatt
to design cloisters on two levels between 1801 and 1815. These Gothic cloisters provide passageways
around the house.
little of the background of the Bruegel family dynasty is explained.
The great Pieter Bruegel’s two sons, who were infants when
he died, both spelled their name ‘Brueghel’ although their father
had dropped the ‘h’ from his signature. Like van Dyck, Pieter Brueghel the Younger
painting is very different in size from the previous one, being 38cm
by 56cm, and is in oil on wood. Taken at face value this is a typical wintry scene.
activities of the people, the bird trap itself and other elements
of the painting are described in detail.
it is suggested that the painting has a hidden agenda.
Although opinions differ, some experts suggest that the painting
had another meaning for the people living in Brueghel’s time.
The children are left to discuss these ideas for themselves
after the programme.
Bird Trap by Pieter Brueghel the Younger"
Bruegel the Elder, gernerally considered to be one of the greatest
Flemish artists of the 16th century, founded a dynasty of Flemish
your own Winter Scene or illustrate another season: Spring – kite
flying, line of washing; Summer – seaside, harvesting; Autumn – conkers,
leaves on bonfires. Think
about the time of day, the light, the colours, the mood of the picture
a frame from a small piece of card and then draw or paint what you
see in the frame.
danger of walking on frozen ponds could be highlighted.
STORY 3 : Bust of Florence Nightingale
by Sir John Steell
The bust of Florence Nightingale, dated 1865, can be found in the
information about the sculptor, Sir John Steell, is given.
He was appointed Sculptor to Queen Victoria for Scotland
and was then knighted at the inauguration of the Scottish Memorial
to Prince Albert in 1876.
soldiers were allied with French and Turkish soldiers to keep
the Russians out of the Crimea - a piece of land that juts out
into the Black Sea"
children are asked to look carefully at the craftsmanship of the sculpture
and are also given a charming picture of Florence Nightingale with
her pet owl to study which provides yet another story.
"There were many famous actions during this
campaign, not least of which was The Charge of The Light Brigade."
details of Florence Nightingale’s life are given, her involvement
in the Crimean War and with nursing generally and also her link with
Wilton through Sidney Herbert. Florence
Nightingale’s main family home near Romsey in Hampshire, is now a
school (Embley Park School) and she is buried in the family grave
at East Wellow also in Hampshire.
expect you've heard of her as the Lady with the Lamp from her custom
of tending the wounded and dying soldiers in the gloomy candlelit
a head – think about textures of hair, skin, and clothes.
an animal, fish, bird etc. – use plasticene or clay.
a collage owl using torn paper or real feathers, for example.
links could be made with the momentous events taking place in Victorian
geography of the location, the maths of the Cube Room, the poetry
of Tennyson and the history surrounding each work could be developed.
are also many opportunities to use the selected works as starting
points for poetry, writing or drama. Leading questions would prompt
discussion, giving rise to the listing of vocabulary, imagined dialogue
between the characters in the paintings and even stories of “What
went before?” or “What happened next?”
such ideas could be set at an appropriate level for the age and ability
of the class.
Times Ltd. 2003