Fifth Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 9 - Leonardo's Drawings
 

Objectives

Look at reproductions of Leonardo's drawings.

Observe Leonardo's drawing The Proportions of Man.

Hear how Leonardo used drawings or cartoons for large paintings.

Think of a problem you come across in daily life, and create a sketch for an invention to solve it.
 

Materials

Reproductions of Leonardo's drawing The Proportions of Man, see Suggested Books below

Reproductions of other drawings by Leonardo.

Paper, crayons, and colored pencils or markers for each student
 

Suggested Books

Cole, Alison. The Renaissance. London: Dorling Kindersley in association with The National Gallery, London, 1994.

Part of the Eyewitness Art series, filled with the usual well-chosen reproductions and well-organized information. Each two-page spread comprises a chapter; Leonardo's drawing Human Figure (under the title Vitruvian Man) is reproduced on p. 30.

Costantino, Maria. Leonardo. New York: Brompton Books & Smithmark, 1994.

This book is nearly "larger than life" (10 by 14 ) and would certainly be ideal to share in the classroom if you borrow it from the library. There are huge reproductions of many drawings as well as paintings. Leonardo's Human Figure in a Circle, Illustrating Proportion is reproduced on p. 38.

Venezia, Mike. Da Vinci. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1989.

Another in the well known series "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists." The thorough presentation in straightforward text and reproductions makes this highly suitable for students to read independently. Leonardo's drawing illustrating human proportions according to Vitruvius is reproduced on p. 6.

Williams, Jay. Leonardo da Vinci. New York: Harper & Row with the American Heritage Publishing Co., 1965.

Hardly a new book, but remarkably comprehensive in its coverage of the artist and his works--not just paintings but many drawings and diagrams by Leonardo as well.
 

Procedure

Reviewing material from Lesson 7, remind the students of the great variety of Leonardo's interests and accomplishments. (Use the Timeline and the world map or globe to refresh their memories about the location and approximate years of Leonardo's life and work.)

Show them a reproduction of Leonardo's Human Figure in a Circle, Illustrating Proportion in one of the Suggested Books, above, and ask: What do you see in this drawing? (circle, square, naked figure of a man) Next, ask the students: What do you think Leonardo was trying to show people by combining the two geometric shapes and the human figure? (Accept any reasonable answer. Then show the students how the figure with feet together and outstretched arms is contained in the square; and how, when the figure is in spreadeagle position, it is contained in the circle.

Tell the students that the idea of a close relationship between beauty and proportion in the human body and beauty and proportion in all art, architecture, and sculpture was an important part of the Italian Renaissance. Ask someone to review the definition of Renaissance, and then ask: What about this drawing of Leonardo reminds you of another culture you studied in Second Grade? (Greek--healthy, beautiful body)

How did the Greeks celebrate the beauty of the human body? (sculpture, Greek games, athletics of all kinds)

Tell the students that this drawing of Leonardo's was used to illustrate a book published in Italy in the year 1511. It was a book written years before by a Roman architect named Vitruvius, and it was called On Architecture. It was all about the uses of the ideal proportions of the human figure in its relation to all of the arts, including architecture. Remind the students that movable type had been invented in Germany not long before this. Then ask: How do you suppose this pen and ink drawing of Leonardo's could be reproduced in a printed book? (woodcut, engraving--any kind of a print) Tell them that Leonardo kept notebooks in which he made drawings of all the things that he was thinking about--things that he observed in nature, such as plants, people, and animals, and also things he dreamed about that didn't yet exist, such as flying machines, war machines, fantastic buildings and structures. Show the class examples of each of these kinds of things from some of the books suggested above.

Tell the students that when Leonardo was asked to paint a large fresco or sculpture he usually made detailed drawings of it first in his notebooks. Tell them that these sketches or drawings were called cartoons. (Have someone explain what we think of as a cartoon nowadays and how it is different from what Leonardo and other Italian Renaissance painters thought of as cartoons.) Ask: How do you think artists like Leonardo and Raphael were able to transfer their drawings or cartoons to the large wood panels or plaster walls on which their paintings would remain for everyone to see? (Allow the students to speculate.)

Tell them that, in the case of drawings, artists would piece together many small, partial cartoons until they had a large cartoon the exact size of the painting they wanted to create. Next, they would use a sharp, pointed instrument similar to a pin or nail, and they would prick little holes in the cartoon all along each important outline of the drawing. Placing the pieced-together cartoon over the panel or wall, they would dust those outlines with powdered charcoal, which would then fall into the little pricked holes. Ask them: Can you think of anything we make nowadays that uses this same technique? (paper patterns for making clothing--ask someone who has seen a person sew using a paper pattern to explain to the class how it is done)
 

Activity

Brainstorm with the class all of the different kinds of things Leonardo sketched in his notebooks. Show them pictures of his sketches for inventions and say to them: You are going to make a sketch of an invention that you can see in your imagination that would be either useful or maybe just a lot of fun for us to have. It might be a kind of flying machine that somehow attaches to an individual person, it could be some kind of a weapon that we've never seen; it could even be as simple as a kind of umbrella or rain protection that would leave both hands free. It could be something that is part animal, part plant. You will probably have to label the various parts and perhaps write a bit about how the invention works--whether it needs fuel, a motor, and so on.

Pass out paper and crayons, colored pencils, and/or markers, and allow 10 or 15 minutes for the students to complete their drawings.

Fifth Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 10 - Botticelli

Objectives

Look carefully at a reproduction of Botticelli's The Birth of Venus.

Discover the subject of Botticelli's painting.

Observe the influence of Greek mythology on the subject of this Italian Renaissance painting.

Recall Aphrodite (Venus) and Eros (Cupid) from Greek mythology.
 

Materials

Classroom-size world map

Measuring tape or yardstick

Reproduction of Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, see Suggested Books below

Reproduction of Botticelli's Primavera, see Suggested Books below.

Reproductions of paintings of Raphael and Leonardo from Lessons 6, 7, and 8 (optional)
 

Suggested Books

Beckett, Sister Wendy. The Story of Painting. New York: Dorling Kindersley in Association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1994.

See pp. 94-98 for reproduction of The Birth of Venus. Botticelli's Primavera is also reproduced, showing a good example of an Italian Renaissance depiction of Cupid.

Cole, Alison. The Renaissance. London: Dorling Kindersley in association with The National Gallery, London, 1994.

See pp. 32-33 for illustrated discussion on "Botticelli and Mythology." Cole includes a reproduction of Botticelli's Primavera.

Venezia, Mike. Botticelli. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1991.

Part of the series "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists" we have recommended many times before. The Birth of Venus is reproduced on pp 24-25; Primavera, on pp. 22- 23. (A reproduction of Leonardo's painting The Virgin of the Rocks on p. 28 serves well for comparison in this lesson.) In spite of what Venezia says here, Botticelli's renown was very local and nowhere near that of Raphael and Leonardo during his own time.
 

Background for Teacher

Sandro Botticelli lived from 1445 to 1510, which makes him an exact contemporary of Leonardo, but he was not as well known in his lifetime as were Leonardo and Raphael, the two Italian Renaissance painters whose works the students have so far seen. It wasn't until the time of the pre-Raphaelite painters in England (19th century) that Botticelli's work became widely known and appreciated. We know much less about Botticelli's life than we do about either Raphael or Leonardo. He lived and worked in Florence, where most of his work was commissioned by the powerful Medici family.

It is important that the students see in Botticelli's two paintings the loving depiction of the beauty of the human form and of nature that does not take as its inspiration a Christian religious subject. They will have read about Aphrodite (Venus) and Eros (Cupid) in Second Grade Literature lessons about Greek mythology.
 

Procedure

Without telling the name of the painting, show The Birth of Venus to the class. Ask whether they think this painting is from the Italian Renaissance (yes) and why. (Accept any reasonable answer. They will surely notice the use of perspective and the beauty of the bodies, which seem very much in motion, and alive.) Tell the students that they may not know the name of the artist who painted this, but they can probably discover what the subject of the painting is. Say to them: Let's see whether we can figure out this riddle together.

Ask the students: What are the names of the two Italian Renaissance artists whose paintings we have looked at so far? (Leonardo and Raphael) Tell them that the artist who did the painting they are looking at today lived at almost exactly the same time as Leonardo. He was also Italian; he lived and worked in the city of Florence. (Have someone locate Florence, Italy, on the map.)

Put the names of Leonardo and Raphael on the board. Ask the students to help you recall the names of the paintings they have seen by these two artists, so that you can write them on the board. Tell them: It is not necessary to remember the exact names, if you can describe them to me and tell me who is represented in the paintings. (If you still have access to the books with reproductions of these paintings, you may want to show them to the class to refresh their memories.) Begin with Leonardo, and remind the students that you want them to tell you about just the paintings of Leonardo, not his drawings or inventions they may have seen.

When they have named The Last Supper, write it on the board. Ask for volunteers to tell the story of what is happening in the painting, and be sure it includes Judas, the betrayal of Jesus, and the fact that the subject of the painting is told in the Christian Bible. Ask whether anyone remembers where Leonardo painted the Last Supper (as fresco in the plaster wall of the refectory of a monastery, where the monks eat their meals). Ask them: Do you think we should call this a religious painting? (yes) Write religious on the board next to the title of the painting.

Under Raphael's name will be The Marriage of the Virgin and one or more paintings of Madonna and Child. Again, have the students identify the characters they recall from the paintings and what is going on in the paintings. Next to each title, ask whether you should write the word religious (yes). Ask the students what religion these subjects come from (Christian).

Have the students look again at the Botticelli painting. Tell them that the size is 9 ft. 2 in. x 5 ft. 9 in. Have some students line up along the wall as you measure and show them the width of the painting, and show them the height as well, in relation to their own sizes, so they have a sense of just how large the painting is.

Ask the class whether they think this painting has a Christian religious subject; why or why not. (Accept any thoughtful answers. If there are students who think it has, ask them to tell the story.) Ask what they think is very different about this painting from the ones by Raphael and Leonardo. List these differences on the board in a third column. One difference that will undoubtedly be obvious to them is the fact that the woman in the middle is naked and the two characters flying through the air are nearly naked. Ask whether any of the people in the Raphael or Leonardo paintings were naked (only the babies). Suggest that, since we are all naked when we are born, that might be a clue to the subject of the painting.

Next, ask them about the use of color in the painting. How is it different from the colors in the Leonardo and in the Raphael paintings? (The colors are lighter, brighter, less brown and shadow; more light, more white and also gold to highlight the forms.)

Ask them about the way the painter portrays nature in the painting compared with those of Raphael. (This would be a good time to show them Botticelli's Primavera, as well, if you have it in the book you are using.) They will notice all the flowers and plants. Ask them to tell you where in the painting they see flowers and plants (in the air, falling into the sea, decorating the dress and robe of one of the figures, leaves wound around the neck and waist of that figure). Ask: What about nature in the Raphael paintings? (more mysterious, darker, not so luxuriant, not so sunny)

What is the weather like in today's painting? (sunny, warm, springlike, gentle)

Ask the students what the woman in the middle of the painting is standing on (scallop shell floating on a calm sea). Write that on the board, and tell them that is another clue. Ask whether they remember anything from Second Grade having to do with someone's birth from the sea. By this time someone will probably guess the name Aphrodite from Greek mythology (or her Roman name, Venus). Ask for a volunteer to tell the class something about Aphrodite from Greek mythology (goddess of love and beauty). If you have the Primavera, point out the Cupid (or Eros) figure and let them tell you why he is blindfolded as he shoots his arrows; also identify Venus for them in that painting, and tell them she is clothed since her birth is not being shown.

Write Botticelli's name on the board above the third column and let the students help you fill in the name of the painting, The Birth of Venus. Ask why they think Botticelli chose to paint Venus on a scallop shell (accept all answers--part of the myth, beautiful shape, serves as both a boat for her to float on and is in nature a home to sea creature). Finally, ask: Should we write religious next to this painting? (no)

Do you think this painting was done to hang in a church or a monastery? (no)

If time allows, tell the students a little about Botticelli's life. Review for them some of the ideals of the Italian Renaissance they have observed in art--an appreciation for all things from Greek culture: their appreciation of the beauty of the human form and proportion in architecture, sculpture, and painting, and, in this case, an appreciation of Greek and Roman mythology, its subjects and stories.

Fifth Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 11 - Leonardo's Mona Lisa

Objectives

Recall artistic activities of Leonardo da Vinci.

Look carefully at Leonardo's Mona Lisa.

Contrast the use of color in Mona Lisa and The Birth of Venus.

Identify Leonardo's use of shadows to create rounded figure in Mona Lisa.

Complete a short journal entry in response to Mona Lisa.
 

Materials

Reproduction of Leonardo's Mona Lisa, see Suggested Books below

Reproduction of Botticelli's The Birth of Venus from Lesson 10

Paper and pencils (or journal) for journal entry
 

Suggested Books

Costantino, Maria. Leonardo. New York: Brompton Books & Smithmark, 1994.

This book is nearly "larger than life" (10 by 14 ) and would certainly be ideal to share in the classroom if you borrow it from the library. There are huge reproductions of drawings as well as paintings. The text is too sophisticated for reading aloud. A color reproduction of the Mona Lisa is found on p. 97 and would be excellent to use in class because it is so large.

Romei, Francesca. Leonardo da Vinci. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1994.

Another in Bedrick Books' Masters of Art series, in which each two-page spread is really a complete chapter. The book is enormous (11" x 14") and beautifully printed but somewhat overwhelming for anything other than teacher background and/or independent student browsing. Leonardo's Mona Lisa is reproduced in color on p. 50.

Stanley, Diane. Leonardo da Vinci. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1996.

A story book about Leonardo; only the drawings reproduced as emblems are by Leonardo. The rest of the very beautiful illustrations were painted by the author. Good for reading aloud, but also very accessible for independent reading by good Fifth Grade readers.

Venezia, Mike. Da Vinci. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1989.

Another in the well known series "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists." The thorough presentation in straightforward text and reproductions makes this highly suitable for students to read independently.

Williams, Jay. Leonardo da Vinci. New York: Harper & Row with the American Heritage Publishing Co., 1965.

Hardly a new book, but remarkably comprehensive in its coverage of the artist and his works--not just paintings but many drawings and diagrams by Leonardo. Chapters are devoted to Leonardo as artist, engineer, inventor, and scientist. The Mona Lisa is reproduced in color on p. 82.
 

Procedure

Review with the students some biographical material about Leonardo (see Lesson 7 and Lesson 9), reminding them of his restless curiosity and intelligence. Have them recall his lifelong habit of keeping notebooks in which he sketched studies for paintings and inventions, wrote down his ideas in "mirror image" writing, and reproduced anatomical and botanical details in drawings.Have someone describe his painting The Last Supper and tell the class what a fresco is.

Tell the students that Leonardo left many of his works unfinished, that he was always searching and looking for new and better ways to do things. They may remember the trouble he had with the paint separating from the plaster wall soon after he finished The Last Supper, and the fact that he had been experimenting with a new mixture of paint to use for the fresco. Tell them how again, later in his life, he tried and failed at yet another type of fresco that he was supposed to create in a room in a grand building in Florence on the Palazza della Signoria. Say to them: Sometimes, when a person has unusual genius, he or she has so many new and different thoughts and ideas that it's nearly impossible for them to settle down and do one thing at a time, especially impossible to do anything in the same way other people do. (If the students seem interested in the subject, you might brainstorm further with them about it.)

Say to the students: Today, we are going to look at a painting of Leonardo's that he did finish. It is called the Mona Lisa, and chances are very good that you've seen it many times, even if you didn't know its name or artist. Show them a reproduction of the painting and ask: Do you recognize this painting? Have you seen it before? Tell them: You may even have seen a copy of this painting with a mustache drawn in or some other funny spoof of it, because it is such a famous picture all over the world that people can't resist fooling with it.

Ask the class: What kind of a painting is this? (portrait) Ask them: What do you think about Leonardo's use of color in this portrait? (They may have trouble responding, since the color is used so subtly.) Show them the Botticelli The Birth of Venus and say: How could you contrast the use of color in these two paintings? (Accept any thoughtful responses. They will undoubtedly note the brightness and variety of color in the Botticelli and the limited palette in the Leonardo, but they may notice other things as well.)

Ask them: What can you tell me about Leonardo's use of line in this portrait? What kind of lines do you see? (They should notice how difficult it is to see any clear lines in the portrait, except perhaps in the background.)

Ask the students if anyone can identify what it is that makes the woman in the portrait look so real, so three-dimensional. (Hopefully, someone will notice all the shadows Leonardo has painted--in her face, on her hands, in the drapery of her clothing. Point out all his uses of shadow to the class, and you might want to contrast the light and shadow of Mona Lisa to that in the Botticelli.

Finally, ask the students: What or whom do you think this woman is looking at? If you look at her eyes, does it seem as though she's looking right at you? (yes) Can you guess what she is thinking as she looks at you? Have the students write 5 or 6 sentences in their journals (or on a separate piece of paper) that describe what they believe the woman in the portrait is thinking as she looks at them. Tell them that the more they look at her, the more they will be able to say.
 

Fifth Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 12 - Michelangelo
 

Objectives

Look carefully at "The Creation of Adam" from the Sistine Chapel.

Identify the paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel as frescoes.

Recall other frescoes.

Observe the particular difficulties of perspective when painting on the ceiling.

Draw a shoe from three different perspectives.
 

Materials

Reproduction of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes, see Suggested Books below

Magnifying lenses for students to see details from the reproduction

Reproduction of Botticelli's The Birth of Venus from Lesson 10

12" x 18" drawing paper, pencils, and crayons for each student
 

Suggested Books

Beckett, Sister Wendy. The Story of Painting. New York: Dorling Kindersley in Association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1994.

See pp. 122-124.

Cole, Alison. The Renaissance. London: Dorling Kindersley in association with The National Gallery, London, 1994.

See pp. 54-57.

Di Cagno, Gabriella. Michelangelo. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1996.

Another in Bedrick Books' Masters of Art series, in which each two-page spread is really a complete chapter. The book is enormous (11" x 14") and beautifully printed, but somewhat overwhelming for anything other than teacher background and/or independent student browsing. Pp. 38-41 are devoted to reproductions and descriptions of the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel.

Milande, Véronique. Michelangelo and His Times. New York: Henry Holt, 1996.

A book with an "upbeat" approach to biography and history; tells a great deal about the artists who surrounded Michelangelo and their opinions about Michelangelo. Pp. 34 and 35 show a two-page spread of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Morrison, Taylor. Antonio's Apprenticeship: Painting a Fresco in Renaissance Italy. New York: Holiday House, 1996.

This fictitious account, set in Florence in the year 1478, is both written and illustrated by Taylor. Tools, procedures, and skills required for making frescoes in the early Italian Renaissance are beautifully detailed in this storybook.

Provensen, A. & M. Leonardo da Vinci. New York: Viking, 1984.

Intended for younger students, but any age will be delighted by this amazingly engineered pop-up book that includes Leonardo's inventions, a fresco that appears and disappears, and a courtyard that houses a free-standing Mona Lisa, among many other clever things.

Venezia, Mike. Michelangelo. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1991.

Part of the regular series "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists," this one is particularly valuable for the many large color photographs of Michelangelo's sculpture. Pp. 24 and 25 show the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and pp. 26-27 reproduce "The Creation of Adam."
 

Background for Teacher

Michelangelo was born in 1475 to a father serving as mayor of the little town near Arezzo which was his birthplace. Michelangelo was sent to school early to learn to read and write (in Latin and Greek as well as Italian), but he was not a good student and spent most of his time sketching. His greatest interest was in sculpture, but his father was violently opposed to his becoming an artist, especially a sculptor. When he was 13, in spite of his father's objections, Michelangelo became apprentice in the workshop of Ghirlandaio in Florence. His talent was recognized immediately by the master, and Michelangelo was given the responsibilities of an assistant.

By the time he was in his early 20s, Michelangelo had completed several magnificent pieces of sculpture; in 1501 he was presented with an enormous block of marble from which he carved his monumental David, which stood originally outdoors on the Piazza della Signoria. Like Leonardo, Michelangelo learned his lessons in human anatomy by dissecting corpses, which he was given permission to do at the hospital of Santo Spirito, an important monastery in Florence. His frescoes for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome occupied him constantly between May of 1508 and October of 1512. In them, his extraordinary skill for creating paintings that looked nearly like sculpture is very obvious. Michelangelo became a permanent resident of Rome in 1534, where he received another papal commission, this time to do his last great painting, The Last Judgement, again a huge fresco, measuring 45' x 40', this time on the main wall of the Sistine Chapel. The work took 5 years to complete, and, when it was finished, attracted all kinds of criticism and eventually revision by others, in order to repair what church authorities considered indecency because of the nudity of all the bodies. Michelangelo's last works were sculpture and architecture. (The students will study his David next month when they look at Italian Renaissance sculpture.) He died in Rome in 1564 and is buried in Florence.
 

Procedure

Ask the class: Can any of you imagine starting a large art project today and--doing nothing else but eating and sleeping--only finishing the project when you were in Ninth Grade? This is pretty much what an Italian Renaissance artist named Michelangelo did when he received a commission from Pope Julius II in 1508 to cover the ceiling of the pope's chapel, called the Sistine Chapel, with paintings. At the time of the Italian Renaissance, none of the many Protestant Churches we have now existed yet. The pope was the head of the entire Christian Church in Western Europe, which means he was a very powerful man, and to be chosen by the pope to create a work of art was a very great honor and an assurance of being well paid.

At the time Pope Julius chose him for this honor, Michelangelo was known primarily as a great sculptor, but he developed a grand plan for the paintings he was to create for the Sistine Chapel. It became a great challenge for Michelangelo, and he completed the work singlehandedly. (At the beginning, he enlisted the help of some other artists, but they tired, became discouraged, and their work did not live up to the standard Michelangelo had set for the project.) In fact, the work was such a terrible strain that, when he had finished, Michelangelo wrote a famous poem about all the terrible physical ailments he suffered as a result. In the poem, which he wrote with a sense of humor, he mentioned his belly ending up close under his chin, his neck collapsing backwards down into his spine, his skin in front becoming stretched and loose while the skin in back got taught, until he was bent "like a Syrian bow." Fortunately for all of us, Michelangelo was still a young man when he worked on the Sistine Chapel, so he recovered his health and strength before too long.

Show the students a colored reproduction of the entire ceiling and, if possible, give them some magnifying lenses to look in more detail at the central panels. Tell them that these are frescoes (review the meaning of the term, last discussed in Lesson 7, its origin in the fact that the paint was applied in the wet or fresh (Italian, fresco) plaster, which then dried within 12 hours and could not be changed. Ask whether anyone knows what the scenes in the center panels are depicting (Book of Genesis, Christian Bible). All of the reproductions in books suggested above are accompanied with diagrams naming each scene and character in the ceiling. If the students seem interested, tell them what is happening, at least in the central panels. Point out some of the other figures on the sides, both men and women, and tell them that the men are Old Testament prophets; the women, sybils or oracles from ancient Greek and Near Eastern civilizations. Remind them that, while the Old Testament prophets proclaimed their warnings and messages to everyone, the sybils or oracles had to be asked and approached with special rituals.

When they have had a chance to appreciate (again, with magnifying lenses if available) the colors of the clothing of the women and the sculptural muscularity of both men and women, have them look particularly at the panel called "Creation of Adam." Have them identify the two figures (God and Adam) and ask: Where does Michelangelo make us look especially in this panel? (fingers about to touch, God's and Adam's)

Why do you think he wants us to look there? (Accept all thoughtful answers.)

How does Michelangelo show us that Adam is newly created? (arm is still quite limp; looks as if he hasn't yet stood up)

Why do you think Michelangelo makes the earth under Adam so prominent? (In the Bible, God created Adam out of the clay or earth.)

You might brainstorm with the class all the diagonals in the panels and how they give a great sense of energy to the paintings and the figures in the paintings, especially the powerful figures of God.

If there is time, you could show the class Botticelli's Birth of Venus again, and have them contrast that with Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam." (They will probably notice that the Michelangelo has much more sense of struggle, muscularity, energy, and dramatic contrasts of light and darkness. The Botticelli is lighter, colors lighter, Venus arises mysteriously without an apparent creator, and the climate looks much more benign. The figures are markedly different in the two paintings, and it would be worth talking about that as well.)

Activity

Point out how the figure of God is foreshortened in the panel they have just been looking at and tell them that Michelangelo did that intentionally, so that when the priest who was celebrating Mass under that panel looked up, the perspective would be just right. Brainstorm with the class about how different things look, depending upon where the viewer is in relation to the picture.

Pass out paper, pencils, and crayons. Have each student take off one shoe and tell them you want them to sketch the shoe from three different perspectives. Have them divide their papers into three sections by folding. The three perspectives will be:
1. Put the shoe on the floor and draw the shoe from the top, looking down from your seat at your desk.
2. Put the shoe on your desk, sit below the desk at an angle where you can see the shoe, and draw from there.
3. Put the shoe on a stack of books on your desk so that it is nearly level with your eyes when you are seated, and draw the shoe from that perspective.
 

Note to Teacher

In January, the students will be looking at the Great (or Kamakura) Buddha as part of their study of Japan. This would be a good time to order a free, poster-size reproduction of the Kamakura Buddha, which is available at no cost from:
Japan National Tourist Organization
One Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 1250
New York, NY 10020
212-757-5640