Using our imaginations when looking at art can activate prior knowledge and spark curiosity. Ask students to recall their Evans DLP visit and try this activity.
One of the easiest ways to begin interpreting a work of art is to imagine you are the artist.
Revisit this painting. Put yourself in the shoes of Mattia Preti. Consider how this artwork was created and what it took to make it.
Imagine, as this artist, you have been commissioned to make a reproduction of this piece. Consider:
Share your ideas with a partner and the class.
Now imagine you could actually visit with Preti for an interview and the chance to share with him your ideas about the work. What questions would you ask? What insights would you share?
Looking closely at art helps us explore viewpoints from the past. During your Evans DLP visit, students practiced looking carefully to interpret art made after the Reformation and explore ideas about society and morality it reveals. Ask students to try this with other works of art from the time period. Use the Looking to Learn: I See / I Think / I Wonder strategy to examine some of the works below.
Ask students to compare their thoughts with the information on the object page. What surprised them? Were some of their ideas right on target? Have some of their “I wonder” statements been addressed?
Thinking about our experience with art helps us connect to people and ideas across time and place. Use these prompts to help students reflect on their engagement with art made after the Reformation in Europe.