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A Evaluate and Contrast Art Lesson

Inside: Art lesson tips and activities for comparing two Baroque Judith and Holofernes paintings. Which was created by a man and which was painted by a lady?

Judith and Holofernes Caravaggio

Let’s speak about decapitation for a minute.
Did I draw you in with that hook? Regardless of whether you rose your eyebrows or nodded with excitement, you are curious about what I’m going to say subsequent, and your students will be also.

All through art history, there are subjects and stories that we see repeated time and once more by various artists, since they capture the imagination and ignite our feelings. 1 instance of this is Judith and Holofernes paintings primarily based on the story of Judith slaying Holofrenes from the Septuagint and the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian Old Testament of the Bible. This story is represented in a lot more than 114 paintings and sculptures!

Judith and Holofernes paintings*Study a lot more to see artist’s name, Judith Slaying Holofernes, 1614–20

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Judith and Holofernes Paintings

To sum up the story, Holofernes, an Assyrian basic and our dastardly villain, was tasked by the king to destroy Judith’s hometown, the city of Bethulia. Judith, a lovely widow, charms and befriends Holofernes and is permitted into Holofernes’ tent since of his need for her. Just after he gets drunk and passes out, she chops of his head and carries it away in a basket back to Bethulia to prove to her neighbors that their troubles are more than. Bam!

Caravaggio, Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1598-99 Judith and Holofernes paintings*Study a lot more to see artist’s name, Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1598-99

These two representations of the story are remarkably equivalent, but the variations stand out. 1 of my all-time favored art lessons is to have students evaluate and contrast these two Judith and Holofernes paintings. It is a fantastic lesson in seeking closely. The longer you can maintain a student seeking and considering, the a lot more they will get out of it. Have your students notice the similarities and differences involving the colors, lighting, postures, and expressions of the individuals, actions, lines, and feelings. There’s a lot to maintain students exploring and engaged.

Click right here to download a free of charge PowerPoint of this activity!

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Discussing Gender in Art

I normally stick to up the evaluate and contrast activity with a believed-provoking query: “Which of these paintings was painted by a lady, and which was painted by a man?

Judith and Holofernes paintings

Assume about it. What do you assume the appropriate answer is? How can you inform a single was painted by a lady and a single a man?

Notice how the ladies are painted. In the very first a single, the lady is sturdy and determined. She’s got her knee on the bed, definitely going for it. In the second, the lady is delicate and appears disgusted. She’s leaning away from the action, maintaining her distance. Her physique language is timid and worried.

Classroom Art Discussion

I’ve led this discussion with numerous groups of students–high-schoolers, college students, and adults. Answers and motives normally differ, and there is normally an exciting discussion. Even when they get the answer “wrong,” it is nevertheless is an exciting way to discover gender and stereotypes. It is a fantastic way to encourage deep understanding about the lives of artists.

The Passion of Artmesia by Susan VreelandAre you prepared for the appropriate answer? Did you assume about it very first?

The very first is the lady artist — Artemisia Gentileschi). The second is the man — Caravaggio. Did you get it suitable?

Gentileschi, a uncommon lady painter from the previous, led a tumultuous life. She painted sturdy and potent ladies, as properly as ladies becoming oppressed or exposed. Despite the fact that we have a tendency to connect a woman’s life to her painting a lot more than we do with male painters (see this post about the lives of artists), it is difficult to resist seeing the connection right here. As a teenager, she was raped by a buddy of her father. At the time, the lady was generally noticed at the a single to blame. She had to go on trial and ended up getting to marry the man who raped her. You can study about her life in the amazing biographical novel, The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland. I extremely advocate this book. I study it years ago and loved it.

See a lot more of Artemisia Gentileschi’s artwork right here.

Art Understanding Activities for Judith Slaying Holofernes



For a lot more depictions of Judith slaying Holofernes, see this Wikipedia web page, this weblog with Judith and Holofernes Caravaggio and several a lot more, or go to this Stories in Art page, search by story, and pick Judith and Holofernes paintings.

This post was initially published on October 27, 2014.

Click right here to download a free of charge PowerPoint of this activity!

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