Today, the Year 5 children visited the Courtauld Gallery to learn more about Portraiture. They observed a number of different paintings and had the chance to consider the composition, mood, use of colour and light in the artworks. Through a range of drawing tasks, they worked on creating detailed mark making, contrast and expression.
Firstly, we looked at The Family of Jan Brueghel The Elder by Rubens. Some of the children volunteered to emulate the family in the portrait. One of the children observed that, "They have things around their necks, They might be rich because they are wearing crowns, gold, jewels and nice fabric." The children considered how the light drew you eyes to the centre of portrait, where the mother was positioned which might infer that she was the centre of the family.
Secondly, we observed a Portrait of a Man (Guillaume Fillastre) by Rogier van der Weyden a work from the 1440s and then compared this to La Loge by Pierre August Renoir. The children noticed the way the brushstrokes in Renoir's painiting gave a sense of feeling that was more relaxed than the particular replication in van der Weyden's work.
Lastly they had the chance to view, The Crd Players by Cezanne, A Bar at Folies - Bergere by Edward Manet and Vincent van Gogh's Self Portrait. They began to read more into the imagery and consider the stories behind the works of art. What are the subjects, thinking, doing, feeling? Where are they? What art techniwques help us to understand them.
One of the children thoughtfully noted at the end, "It's not just what they look like[the paintings], it's the emotions behind it."