THE QUEEN’S GALLERY BUCKINGHAM PALACE LEARNING TO .the queen’s gallery buckingham palace learning

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  • THE QUEENS GALLERY

    BUCKINGHAM PALACE

    LEARNING TO LOOK AT PORTRAITS

    TEACHER INFORMATION SHEETS

    PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING NOTES TO LEAD YOUR GROUP AROUND THE GALLERIES, LOCATE THE PAINTINGS FOR DISCUSSION USING THE GALLERY PLAN AND USE THE

    QUESTIONS PROVIDED TO ASK PUPILS ABOUT THE PAINTINGS

  • Group Group Group Group Route to view paintingsRoute to view paintingsRoute to view paintingsRoute to view paintings 1 1, 2, 3, 4 2 2, 3, 4, 5 3 3, 4, 5, 6 4 4, 5, 6, 1

  • Painting 1Painting 1Painting 1Painting 1

    The Misers, The Misers, The Misers, The Misers, 1548-51---- Follower of Marinus van Reymerswaele

  • TeaTeaTeaTeacher Info cher Info cher Info cher Info

    The Misers demonstrates a popular type of painting in the 16th Century where figures wear fifteenth century dress (which would have looked old fashioned) and have grotesque features

    There are around 60 surviving paintings on the same theme

    It may have been painted by 2 artists - as the lively handling of the paint on the left hand man contrasts with the tighter depiction of the still life on the shelf above

    The scene shows two men with faces contorted in concentration and greed. The man on the right points at a ledger, which is being filled in by his colleague on the left. The wealth of both men is suggested by their rich clothing

    The two figures have traditionally been called Misers (this is retained in the title of the present work), but are most likely tax collectors

    The crowded nature of the scene, with the two figures positioned tightly together and the desk placed impossibly close to the door, lends the painting an uncomfortable atmosphere

    The scene is intended to amuse the viewer with its caricature-like features and colourful costumes. However, the underlying message is a warning against greed, because life is short, as symbolised by the flame of the candle, which will soon burn out.

  • Questions / activities Questions / activities Questions / activities Questions / activities Please ensure that the first 3 questions are answered the other 2 are additional if the students move quickly through the first 3. Encourage all students to participate and add to the discussion. . . . 1. Thirty Thirty Thirty Thirty----Second LookSecond LookSecond LookSecond Look

    Have students look at the portrait for thirty seconds. Then have them turn away from the image. Conduct a conversation with students about what they saw.

    Be sure to ask probing and open-ended questions 2. Character Creation2. Character Creation2. Character Creation2. Character Creation

    Ask the students what kind of character and personality they think the sitters have

    Get them to look closely at the expressions on the Misers face

    Encourage them to use descriptive adjectives 3. Objects and Symbols Objects and Symbols Objects and Symbols Objects and Symbols

    Have students look carefully at the symbols and objects in the painting what do they think some of them might mean? Why did the artist include them?

    What do the objects tell us about the nature of the sitters employment?

    Ask the students what the candle might symbolize? Additional Questions Strike a Pose Strike a Pose Strike a Pose Strike a Pose Have students pose like the sitter in the portrait. Ask students to consider what it feels like to pose like the misers, to wear their clothes, and be in the setting of the portrait. What am I thinking?What am I thinking?What am I thinking?What am I thinking? Have your students consider what the sitters might be thinking as he or she is sitting for the portrait. Ask them what the sitters might be getting ready to say or are saying to one another

  • Painting 2Painting 2Painting 2Painting 2

    Portrait of a Man, Portrait of a Man, Portrait of a Man, Portrait of a Man, c.1475-80. . . . Hans Memling

  • Teacher infoTeacher infoTeacher infoTeacher info

    Though born near Frankfurt, Memling probably trained in the workshop of Rogier van der Weyden in Brussels, before in 1465 becoming a citizen of Bruges, where he worked for the rest of his life.

    No record exists of this commission and there is no clear clue within the portrait to identify the man

    In his portrait style Hans Memling created a means of expressing not only the individual personalities of his sitters but also a sense of idealised beauty he had a unique approach to portraiture bringing life and movement to his sitters.

    In order to emphasise the most prominent aspects of a face - the eyes, nose and mouth - Memling often elongated the overall shape. Consequently, the scale of the face is not entirely true to life

    The hair is immaculate, curling strictly to the shoulders and perfectly framing his face. The resolutely turned-down corners of the mouth imbue the sitter with a seriousness bordering on severity

    Memling created the illusion of an even skin tone by carefully building up layers of thin glazes to give a pure porcelain-like quality.

    The mans simple dark tunic is worn over a grey collar fastened at the neck with three strips of cord. He gestures to a pendant hanging from a button on his tunic. The significance of this ornament is not known.

    It has been suggested that this portrait commemorates the swearing of an oath. It is certainly not a devotional image because the man points so markedly towards himself rather than clasping his hands in prayer

    It is possible that the portrait marked the sitters initiation into a confraternity or society or was intended as a gift to a prospective bride. In either case, the gesture indicates a hope of acceptance.

  • Questions / activities Questions / activities Questions / activities Questions / activities Please ensure that the first 3 questions are answered the other 2 are additional if the students move quickly through the first 3. Encourage all students to participate and add to the discussion 1. ThirtyThirtyThirtyThirty----Second LookSecond LookSecond LookSecond Look

    Have students look at the portrait for thirty seconds. Then have them turn away from the image. Conduct a conversation with students about what they saw.

    Be sure to ask probing and open-ended questions. 2. What am I thinking? What am I thinking? What am I thinking? What am I thinking?

    Have your students considered what the sitter might be thinking as he or she is sitting for the portrait.

    Ask them what the sitter might be getting ready to say. 3. Character Creation Character Creation Character Creation Character Creation

    Ask the students what kind of character and personality they think the sitter has

    Encourage them to use descriptive adjectives Additional Questions Strike a Pose Strike a Pose Strike a Pose Strike a Pose Have students pose like the sitter in the portrait. Ask students to consider what it feels like to pose like this sitter, to wear those clothes, and be in the setting of the portrait. What Do You Wonder?What Do You Wonder?What Do You Wonder?What Do You Wonder? Have students consider the question, What do you wonder about this portrait? After a student has asked a question, ask the other students to respond with their opinion.

  • Painting 3Painting 3Painting 3Painting 3

    The Three Children of Christian II of Denmark, The Three Children of Christian II of Denmark, The Three Children of Christian II of Denmark, The Three Children of Christian II of Denmark, 1526. . . . Jan Gossaert

  • Teacher Notes Teacher Notes Teacher Notes Teacher Notes

    This is a portrait of the children of Isabella of Habsburg, Queen of Denmark. She died the year it was painted and was perhaps commissioned in her honour.

    The children are John, aged 7; Dorothea, aged 5; and Christina, aged 3

    The children are shown wearing the sombre clothes of mourning, and the bloodless pallor of their faces may be an intentional device to indicate their sorrow.

    The childrens' father, King Christian II of Denmark, sent them to be raised by their great-aunt, Margaret of Austria.

    It is an odd painting - the three figures seem to be cramped into a very small space, sitting around a table with a green cloth covering.

    John, in the centre, looks out towards the viewer, his head at a slight angle, emphasised by the tilt of his oversized black bonnet. The two girls stare vacantly ahead as though unaware that they are being observed.

    The bond between the three is illustrated by their physical closeness, painted literally overlapping one another and forming a strong family unit, Johns left hand placed firmly on the table underneath the arm of his younger sister and his right sleeve obscuring Dorotheas left arm

    The composition is an illusionistic trick. Just inside the frame across the top and along two sides of the painting is an inner fictive frame painted to look like a continuation of the real one, creating the illusion that the children project out from the frame into our space.

    It was common to portray important children as though they were already adults. Here the Crown Prince seems to be taking on the role of king, with Dorothea as his queen and Christina as their child, thereby demonstrating the childrens status.

    The inclusion of cherries and quinces on the green table could be seen to symbolise a well-nurtured childhood)

  • Questions / activities Questions / activities Questions / activities Questions / activities

    Please ensure that the first 3 questions are answered the other 2 are additional if the students move quick