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Teaching a Second Language through Art Using the Yale Art Gallery

Laura Ferrante-Fernandes

Contents of Curriculum Unit 81.04.07:

To Guide Entry

I. Objectives:

This unit has been worked out for teachers and students of a second language due to the lack of available material on this subject and also because I would like to facilitate the process of planning field trips for the teacher using the resources available at Yale.

Children learn by seeing and doing—that is by incorporating their five senses in the learning process. More teachers, especially at the high school level, need to take their students out of the classroom and into the natural ambiance in order to make learning more meaningful.

Many of our students have never frequented the museums at Yale. Thus, they are not aware of the wealth of resources that are available there for the community at no cost. Also, through this exposure, the teacher can develop the students’ writing skills because it is easier done when one writes from experience.

Finally, the resources at Yale are so vast, that I was forced to select or limit myself to one museum. Thus, I have chosen the Yale Art Gallery. This museum has a wide range of diversified art from all over the world; and with the paintings available there, the teacher can introduce the students to some of the greatest artists along with the art movements or periods that he or she prefers. Units on the British Art Museum and on the Peabody Museum are forthcoming in the future.

Before plunging into writing, students should have some basic idea on “what” art is and the “why” behind it. This can be done by introducing the students to the different periods.

In primitive times, no such word as art existed. Yet, we have cave paintings to prove that it existed as a form. Art was a means of magic for prehistoric man and this creation and formation especially of animals was believed to bestow protection and power to the one who created it. In this way, man exerted his effort for the purpose of controlling the phenomena of his existence.

Today, when we think of art, we think of it as a talent outside of the human sphere with mystic qualities. By studying primitive art, a light is shed on the “why” of this connotation. At the same time, we live in an age of pictures and we are surrounded by images of all civilizations. Through the study of the different civilizations and cultures, we realize that the human race was and still is defining the images of its gods, the environment in which it lives, and most important itself.

The periods that will be covered in this unit are: The Primitive or Pre-Columbian, the Greek, the Egyptian, the Roman, the Byzantine, the Medieval, the Renaissance, the Spanish, the English, the American, and finally the new impressions or Modern Art.

In this unit, I propose that a week out of each month be set aside for writing development. At the same time, a period of art, each month, should be taught by using some of the books or the plates available from the books listed in the bibliography and also by incorporating some of the slides available at Yale. At the end of each lesson, a field trip to the museum should be planned in order to re-enforce the learning and to make it more pertinent and real for the students.

The appendix contains information on the museum and the steps to take in contacting the museum for a guided tour.

Now, we shall deal with the writing aspect of this unit. When writing about art, have the students dwell on what the artist tries to convey by simply describing the art form while incorporating some of the background information that the teacher has provided. Then, have the students concentrate on what the form represents or stirs up in the imagination by writing as if he/she had created the work of art. Then, always remember the three R’s of writing: revise, reword, and rewrite. Instill this upon the students.


1. Check to see if what has been written is in proper order.
2. Who is your audience? Is the tone appropriate for that audience?
3. Include other information that you may remember while revising.
4. Check your grammar.
5. Make sure your message is clear.


1. Eliminate repetition. Do not use the same word twice.
2. Use words that create pictures. (Example: The silvery moon cast a pale light on the soft, sandy beach; vs. the moon was shining on the beach.)
3. Check for spelling and vocabulary.


1. Write the final draft.
2. Be careful with your penmanship or if typewritten, follow the rules.
3. Choose your writing paper carefully.
4. Use ink and do not cross out on the paper.
5. Be neat:
At the same time, I would like to suggest that one or two motion pictures and/or slides and filmstrips be shown to the students in order to have them really appreciate art while eliciting better writing material. In section VI of the Classroom Materials, a list of all the available filmstrips, motion pictures, and slides has been included to assist the teacher in this goal.

But before using the aids, please follow this simple guide line which will facilitate the process of teaching with films:

1. Determine the objective for film selection.
2. Plan the lesson by previewing the film.
3. Use related materials as needed.
4. Discuss the film before showing.
5. Prepare your groups.
6. Show film after preparation of room. Make sure that the audiovisual equipment can be reserved for that day and that it is in working order.
7. Discuss the film after showing.
8. Engage in follow-up activities;
____a. related readings
____b. written reports
____c. trips
____d. other films
____e. tests
Last, but not least, keep in mind that the strategies that you are about to read were written to provide the instructor with pertinent information and vocabulary which can be used in teaching the different periods. The sky is the limit for a teacher full of imagination.

II. Strategies:

A. The Stone Age: In the Primitive Period and in the Pre-Columbian Period, the teacher should stress the power of superstition and the prevalence of animals which can easily be attested just by viewing any of the works of art or artifacts. At the same time, the students should be asked what civilized and uncivilized mean to them. Yale has a very good collection which will help the students in determining this question. One such artifact which is also available on a slide is the stone of Zapotec style, titled, Stela with Figure in Animal Costume. The teacher should ask a series of questions on this stone to stimulate thinking and writing. Some sample questions can be:

1. What materials were used in art?

2. Are these art forms centered around man or animal? Why?
3. Did Winged Jaguars ever exist?
4. How did these people live?
5. Were these people civilized?
6. What are some of their contributions to the human race?
B. The Pyramid Builders: If we look at Egyptian Art, we see a passion for permanency. This is the very soul of its civilization. The art is severe, unchanging, and aristocratic just as its civilization was.

The history of the period began around 3000 B.C. with the unification of the many small kingdoms by King Menes, who was the founder of the first dynasty. After him, came thirty-one more dynasties and the kings were then known as “Pharaohs.” These”pharaohs” were considered gods by their people who obeyed them completely.

It was an Egyptian belief that stated that a man’s soul would continue to live or exist if the body were preserved and statues of him were made and kept. Thus, the great Pyramids were tombs built for this purpose.

The Egyptian belief also affirmed that a man would live in the next world with the same needs as those of this world. Therefore, along with the statues or replicas of the deceased, figurines of the servants doing their various tasks were also included in order to have his needs met in the next life. Examples of these figurines found include “miniature stables full of fattened cattle, and brewers’ and bakers’ shops with little women at the loom and the granaries with workers grinding flour.”1

Everyone looks alike because for the Egyptians, it was enough to represent man with his features at his best. Thus, wrinkles, warts, unplea: sant expressions, and anything else that was not pleasing to look at were completely omitted.

The heads are seen in profile, shoulders are seen from the side. The overseer is twice the size of any of the workmen. These are all distinguishing features which gave character to the art. In fact, it is an example of “stylized art” because the art form became established and it changed or varied very little. Painting for the Egyptian was simply a technique for telling a story,

“Did the Egyptians prefer to paint and sculpt this way? Could they make nothing more true to life?”2 The rule of one of the Pharaoh’s of the Eighteenth Dynasty proved that they could. Akhenaten, son of Amenhotep III, tried to break this 1500 year old tradition. He wanted to see art as more true to life. The statue of Akhenaten with his long jaw and heavy lips is not very flattering, but we can see the true beauty of his wife Nefertiti in hers. Unfortunately, after the death of Akhenaten, the Egyptian returned to their old ways and habits.

In this section, the fashion and make-up habits of these people can also be researched more. The students can also be encouraged to do reports using live models dressed and made up as Egyptians and then comparing them with those of today. Reports can also be done on how Egyptian styles are still influencing our styles today.

A sample vocabulary list has been made for this period ( See appendix V ). The teacher should have the students make use of some of these words in their compositions. Included here is also a list of possible stimulating questions and activities:

1. Did the woman have a low place in Egyptian society?
2. Where is Egypt located? Make a map of the country.
3. Compare the Pyramids of Egypt with those of Mexico and Central America.
4. Make a comparison between these statues and the statues in the Catholic Church. How are they alike/different?
5. What class of people built the Pyramids?
6. Were these tombs for everybody?
7. Did the noblemen have these tombs also?
8. Why does everybody look alike?
9. Why does everybody look beautiful?
10. What does the artist omit to make everyone look beautiful?
11. Why are the heads all in profile?
12. Why are the shoulders seen from the side?
13. What are the distinguishing features?
14. Why is the overseer twice the size of any of the workmen?
15. Did the Egyptian prefer to paint and sculpt this way?
16. Teach comparisons; He is bigger than the other man.
17. Introduce the questions and negatives which are formed with auxiliary.
18. Introduce some irregular verbs such as to buy, to break, to cost, to keep, etc.
19. Introduce the usage of for and since.
20. Introduce the pronouns one and ones.
C. Greek Art: In this period, we see a love of life. The gods who were perfectly formed human beings portrayed the beauty of life which the mortals aspired to. There is a perfect balance and harmony. There is also serenity and an ideal of order. Slides and or motion pictures or filmstrips should be used to demonstrate this.

It would also be worthwhile for students to see that this civilization was both very intellectual and athletic. The Greeks loved poetry and they greatly admired skill in athletics. The beginnings of the Olympic Games can be mentioned here along with the symbolism behind the Greek flag being the first to exit at the Games every four years. Students will see the athletic qualities with visual aids.

For the Greeks, a large family of gods existed. They were pictured as sitting in palaces on Mount Olympus, eating ambrosia, “a divine food, and drinking” nectar.” Zeus was the king of the gods, and his wife, Hera, the queen. Make the students aware that Zeus “played around” and that he fathered many children with different characters. The students love a good soap opera. ( See appendix II for a list of some of the most familiar gods and goddesses along with their Roman names and titles and description. )

It was also believed that each god ruled over a different part of human life. For example, Ares was the god of war, while Aphrodite, the goddess of love; and Athena, the warrior goddess of wisdom. All these gods were similar to humans in every way except that they were perfect in beauty, they had extra-sensory vision and supersonic speed, but most important, they were immortal. Here, the teacher could ask questions on how these gods resemble human beings and how they differ. Also, at this point, introduce the students to some classical myths. Children love romantic stories; thus, this will entice them on. (See appendix III for information on some mythological characters.)

Another reason for discussing mythology is due to its influence in Greek art as well as in the other artistic movements. The subjects of most of the Greek works of art were the gods or scenes taken from the myths or statues of the athletes who had honored their city by winning in one of the Games. These statues were included, but they were exceptions to the rule. And again, as mentioned earlier, the myths themselves are quite appealing to both young and old.

After first studying the Egyptian form, the instructor could ask the students to write down a list of adjectives to describe the stylized Greek form (See the vocabulary page for this section in appendix V ). At this time the teacher can also introduce the noun and verb formations as well as the noun and adjective formations. A comparison can also be made of a man and/or woman of the different periods studied. This should be extended to include eventually all the periods studied.

What makes Greek statues so lifelike is the skill of the sculptor in capturing the bones and muscles of their figures in a natural way. The Greeks were the first to do this. Again, a simple comparison between Greek and Egyptian art would prove most effective for this.

Unfortunately, all Greek paintings have been lost; the only way of judging Greek skill as painters is from the decorations on their vases. The forms on these vases are stiff and not quite true to life and the figures are shown in profile. This can be demonstrated with the oil flask titled: “Painter of the Yale Lecythus.” This flask can be seen at Yale.

Another art work is titled, Five Divinities (Apollo, Aphrodite, Athena, Hera, Zeus). Included here is also a list of possible stimulating questions and activities on Greek art.

1. What was the theme behind Greek art?
2. Research gods and legends.
3. Were the Greeks fond of music? How do you know?
4. Describe what you see on the oil flask, “Painter of the Yale Lecythus in detail.
5. Describe the Greek gods and goddesses.
6. Act out some of the myths.
7. Describe Greek life style.
8. Select a god or goddess that you would like to be and write what you would do in their place.
9. What would it be like to dress in the Greek fashion?
10. What weather would it be least/most comfortable?
D. Roman Art: The Greeks were the forerunners of the Romans. They became teachers to them. The Romans even borrowed some of the Greek alphabet and used it to write their own language; they also adopted their dress, and they copied their architecture. They even had the same gods, but only with different names. Jupiter, king of the gods, was like Zeus, and his wife Juno, like Hera. Their Venus, goddess of love, was like Aphrodite, and their Mars, the god of war, like Ares. In fact, Greek and Roman art are so similar that both are known as “classical art.” At this point the teacher may introduce the simile and the metaphor.

The Romans excelled the Greeks in Portraits. People, especially those who could afford it, kept busts of their ancestors to denote tradition and family pride, In these busts, one can see the Roman practicality as well as the lust for power, wealth and military glory. The Roman artists were also skilled at getting likenesses and at showing age while at the same time including grandeur and dignity. Roman art revolved around scenes of conquests and military campaigns. Again anything visual will demonstrate this without the teacher having to utter a word.

Roman paintings still remain because of the eruption of the volcano, the Vesuvuis. Due to this conservation, one can see that Roman painters had only two problems: one of perspective which made it difficult to tell how far away an object was, and also one of light which came from many different directions. With the Roman Empire, classical art became the art of Europe. Here, one could ask the students questions such as: “In what other period was art important in the telling of a story?”

Other questions and activities could include:

1. Introduce the past perfect tense.
2. Introduce formation of questions and negatives.
3. Introduce time clauses with before and after.
4. Describe Roman life for the patricians, the plebeians, and the slaves.
5. Have the students research the legend of Romulus and Remus.
6. What did Roman Civilization contribute to mankind.
E. Byzantine Art and the Dark Ages: After two hundred years of Roman Peace (Pax Romans), the Romans found it more difficult to maintain control of their borders because of the attacks carried out by the barbarians through Europe and Asia. These tribes were envious of the wealth of those who lived within the Roman Empire.

Also, fewer people were able to afford decorating their homes with paintings. Less attention was paid to art altogether, and artists began to show less and less skill. Figures now began to appear flat and stiff, their positions became awkward, and artists were no longer able to portray anatomy correctly.

The Roman Empire spread Christianity without really wanting to. Thus, art was now moving towards the scenes from the Bible and decorating the churches in order to explain Christ’s teaching to an illiterate world. In this way, art served as a tool for the teaching of Christianity. One can now understand why Catholics are thought to hold such a reverence for statues.

The capital of the Roman Empire moved to Constantinople or Byzantium, a Greek city. The art of the eastern part of the Empire began to develop differently. It took on a richness and splendor of the Orient due to its trade there. Byzantine artists were famous for their rich colors and lavish use of gold. What did the use of gold represent?

Mosaics were a favorite form of decor also in Byzantium. They differed from the Roman ones because chips of brilliantly colored glass rather than marble were used in the Byzantine ones. Ask the students if they believe working with mosaics is time consuming.

Byzantine artists were also very limited in their paintings because they had a few set ways. Artists copied each other for centuries in painting icons.

The period was known as the Dark Ages because fewer and fewer people knew how to read or write. It was a period of an anti-realistic style because the flesh was an enemy of the spirit according to the eastern tradition. Again, through the use of slides or other visual aids, the students will be able to denote and describe this. Some other questions and activities to stimulate writing could be:

1. Why is the body always covered up?
2. Why are the bodies so stiff and unnatural looking?
3. What are in the backgrounds?
4. Introduce the direct and indirect object pronouns and their positions.
5. What is the major theme in this art movement?
F. Medieval Art: Romanesque art varies greatly from place to place. Its style is usually earthbound. Immediately following this period, we have the Gothic period. The Gothic style architecture is tall, thin, and pointed. It somehow portrays the union between man’s spirit and God. Its soaring towers and arches carry the eye and the spirit towards heaven. Gothic cathedrals are rich with stained-glass windows and many other kinds of ornaments. Some possible stimulating questions and activities for this period could be:

1. Get the students to compare these statues with the Egyptian and Greek ones.
2. Why are there no athletes in Gothic sculpture?
3. Introduce the reflexive pronouns.
4. Substitute by with alone or without help.
5. Let’s vs. let’s not.
6. What is this period based on?
7. Compare a Romanesque arch with a Gothic one.
8. What is the flying buttress? Is it still used?
G. The Renaissance: The Crusades brought great change to Europe. The Christian soldiers who had gone to free the Holy Land from the Muslims, brought back with them beautiful silks, perfumes, and finely crafted goods and exquisite carpets. Get the students to notice these new items in the paintings.

The Middle Ages had united all of Europe under the Catholic Church. The educated could speak and write the same language, Latin. Art also became stylized because everyone was copying from each other.

But with the Crusades, people began to write in their local languages and there was a rise of nationalism. During the Middle Ages, the church was the biggest patron of the arts; now there was an increasing number of other patrons. These patrons consisted of individuals or groups of individuals who paid or commissioned works to the artists. One such patron was Lorenzo De Medici, patron of Michelangelo. The type of person he was can be researched or simply studied from a portrait or a bust.

The composure of the town was also experiencing a change due to the talent that was now being set up there. Previously, all work or craft was done in the castles; now, it was being done in the towns. And above all, the Renaissance became a period of great learning due to the printing press and to the distribution of books.

The city most renowned for its art work during this period is Florence. The history of the city is full of bloodshed and strife due to the rivalry between the two political parties. Often, artists there were not only painters, but they had to be sculptors and architects as well. These men held a very important, but precarious position in Florentine society.

Since there were no art schools, a young boy would become an apprentice to a master painter. At the same time, he had to learn carpentry in order to construct altarpieces and prepare panels and he also had to learn how to grind the color for paints.

In the thirteenth century, there were two types of painting that were were being done: fresco and tempera on wood. Oil painting was not yet in use. Frescoes are wall paintings in which the paint has been put on while a coat of plaster on the wall is still wet. The paint enters into the plaster and then it dries becoming part of the wall itself. For this, an artist must have a sure and steady hand and he must work quickly. In “tempera” means that the art work was done on wood using water colors thickened with egg yolks. Ask students which would be the more difficult one to work with: tempera or frescoes?

The young apprentice had to master many skills. When the master believed he was ready to draw and paint well enough, he permitted him to work on unimportant corners of the paintings that he himself was working on. After learning enough about painting complete works on his own, he might set up a studio of his own in order to take on paying apprentices.

The Renaissance began with Giotto, the artist who brought realism to the art of the Middle Ages. But, there still were many other problems that needed to be solved. Artists were now beginning to study perspective and anatomy until they could show the human body in many different positions.

More medieval paintings now were more realistic and they were full of symbolism representing what the artists wanted to convey through the objects. Also, portraits began to reappear due to the fondness expressed by the people of this age.

In Florence, the Medici family was the greatest patron of the arts. They ruled Florence for three hundred years. The greatest and wisest of the Medici was Lorenzo the Magnificent. He filled his palaces with some of the greatest masterpieces and he kept a court of brilliant learned men. He was quite generous and founded many schools and universities. In fact, as previously mentioned, he brought Michelangelo to live in his palace and he treated him as a son by becoming his patron.

Some of the artists that bring us to the high Renaissance include Masaccio, “Nasty Tom,” Botticelli, “little barrel,” and also Verrochio, under whom both Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, the greatest artists of this period, studied. Another great artist of the “High Renaissance” was Raphael Santi (Raphael), of course. Yale has quite an extensive collection of Renaissance art. The collection includes the painting of the Madonna with Pomegranate which is attributed to Botticelli or to a close follower. Some stimulating questions and activities for this period could include:.

1. What brought great change to Europe?
2. What new inventions or goods began to appear in the painting?
3. What was the language of the educated few?
4. How did the rise of nationalism come about?
5. What did writing in the dialect of the region mean for the people?
6. Who were the patrons of the arts?
7. Do we have patrons today?
8. How did the town change?
9. How did people’s life styles change?
10. Research the city of Florence.
11. Do apprentices exist today?
12. Describe frescoes and wood on tempera.
13. Research Da Vinci’s Last Supper.
14. Why is the Mona Lisa so famous?
16. Research the life of Giotto.
17. How did the artists learn anatomy so perfectly?
18. Research the Medici family.
19. Do projects on Masaccio, Botticelli, Verrochio, and Raphael.
20. What is the symbolism behind a pomegranate?
H. Spanish Art: Get the students to see that in Spain, art revolved around the king’s court and the artists were greatly influenced by the Italian tradition. Their subjects were usually kings and noblemen or they painted religious themes due to the importance of the Catholic religion. Religion was a very important aspect of their life and the Spaniards tried to destroy every trace of Moorish influence with this. The students can easily be shown this through the use of visual aids.

Spanish paintings give us a very clear idea of the opulence of court life due to the gold and silver pouring out of the American colonies’ mines. One can also envision the somber and doleful characters of the Spanish people in the works of art. Why is the Spanish court so opulent? Yet, why are the people so somber and doleful?

El Greco was in fact a Greek with an Italian name who painted for the Spanish court. He studied in Venice, but his colors were not as bright as those seen before in paintings. He used the “colors of the moon” which included pale grays, purples, bright blues, and lemon greens. His paintings give off a frightening aspect which appears before an oncoming storm. He distorted his figures giving them an elongated mystical aspect. In the past, artists used the technique of distortion to cover their imperfections when they were incapable of drawing correctly. Was El Greco distorting his figures because he wanted to cover his imperfections? No, El Greco was the first artist to use this technique deliberately. What other great artists distort their figures deliberately? Why?

Another renowned Spanish artist was Diego Velasquez, court painter to King Philip IV. Velasquez was an ardent student of Italian art. He painted photographic likenesses of his models and he employed texture of skin, hair, and cloth. He favored tones of silvery gray, soft brown, and darker colors in accordance with the taste of the Spanish people who were known to wear black or other somber shades. Again, the students should be encouraged to see these things themselves.

After the seventeenth century, Spain declined in power and wealth. During the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century, Francisco Goya began his career by working in the court of Carlos V. Goya was noted for his unusual style which is now famous for the cruel exaggerations of his subjects. Goya was also renowned for his etchings where we see strange scenes full of beasts and monsters representing images from his tortured imagination. Get students to discuss and write about their fantasies here. Other activities and questions could be:

1. Begin writing assignments with: In My Fantasy, I . . . .
2. Describe the different courts.
3. Describe the different periods in Goya’ s work.
4. What invention changed painting completely?
5. Describe each artist’ s different style.
6. Research the backgrounds of each artist.
7. Have students use more descriptive adjectives in their sentences.
8. Have students use more conjunctions to form compound sentences.
9. Introduce the the past continuous tense.
10. Introduce some irregular plurals.
11. Introduce more irregular verbs: to fall, to ring, to shine, etc.
I. English Art: This movement did not have the same upper class importance as that of Italian of French art. A comparison of the Italian or French court would demonstrate that the English court was not as gay as that of the other countries. But with the establishment of British foreign colonies, change began to take place in England.

William Hogarth was the first Englishman to prove that he could paint as well as foreigners. After him came Thomas Gainsborough who painted the portrait of Master Heathcote only after hearing the sad fate of his other brothers and sisters. His parents were very anxious to have their only remaining son’s portrait painted. When they brought him to the artist, Gainsborough was delighted to see how the child was dressed. In fact, he told them that the child was simply dressed and if they had paraded him in a fancy costume, he would have refused to paint him. I have included this little bit of history behind the painting to arouse some interest. Each painting besides giving one story with its picture, also has a story to tell with its history. When at the museum, have the students try to find paintings of children dressed plainly. What does their absence or presence mean?

Other artists included Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Henry Raeburn, the famous Scottish artist, and Sir Thomas Lawrence. All these painters had studied Italian art. They also loved to portray the blue, wind-blown sky of the country, and they were experts in portraying the fresh cheeks of the women and children. Have the students express this themselves. (Remember that this information is provided to assist the teacher in want to look for while at the same time providing some format for the children.)

The greatest landscape painters of the nineteenth century were John Constable and J.M. W. Turner. John Constable painted true to life twisted trees and sunny meadows of a perfect England. Get the students to see this and to write about it by viewing Constable’s Hampstead Heath at the Gallery. Turner’s work was quite different. He painted dream landscape of ideal beauty filled with a misty golden haze.

Yale has an extensive collection of British art, especially at the British Art Museum. Of Sir Joshua Reynolds’ works, the Gallery has two oils on canvas titled, Mr. & Mrs. Godfrey Wentworth and Omai. These paintings are worth studying because they are very direct and beautiful. The artist portrays the people exactly as they were. Here are some suggested questions or activities to stimulate thought and writing:

1. How do the people look in the painting, Mr. & Mrs. Godfrey Wentworth?
2. What positions do they have in life?
3. Is the woman a great lady?
4. What is she holding on her lap?
5. Who is this a portrait of?
6. Does he look happy?
7. In Omai, who is this a portrait of?
8. Describe the dress of the individual.
9 In Constable’s Hampstead Heath, can you hear anything?
10. Introduce must and have to.
11. View some of the paintings to music.
12. Introduce some sound and music vocabulary.
13. Introduce who vs. which.
14. Do the clouds look as if they are moving?
J. American Art: One of the first painters in the colonies, John Singleton Copley, was a loyalist who fled to England at the onset of the Revolutionary War. Benjamin West, an American, spent his whole career in London. Some of his paintings available at Yale are: Agrippina Returning to Brundisium with the Ashes of Germanicus, Agrippina Landing at Brundisium with the Ashes of Germanicus, and Cicero Discovering the Tomb of Archimedes.

The best known of the American painters was Gilbert Stuart who painted fine portraits of George Washington. Perhaps, his best known painting is that of the skater who wanted his portrait painted, but the day was extremely cold so that the man suggested that they go skating instead. Yale’s collection includes Gilbert Stuart’ s Mrs. William Sullivan.

After the Revolution, the American artists were mostly influenced by the French. Samuel F. B. morse was one of these artists. Does the name sound familiar? Yes, he is the one who invented the telegraph. Morse’s works at Yale include: By Candlelight, Mrs. Jedidiah Morse (his mother), and Alexander Metcalf Fisher. America has had many Romantic painters also since the people have lived so close to nature.

Winslow Homer was a great artist of the wilderness and of the people who inhabited it such as the hunters, trappers, and traders. He also loved painting the sea since he grew up on a New England coast. His works at Yale include: The Morning Bell A Game of Croquet, and Below Zero.

But the greatest of the American Romantics was Albert Pinkham Ryder. His paintings include landscapes, and scenes taken from ancient myths and legends and also from the plays of Shakespeare. The pictures are strange because everything seems to be in a hazy dream. He was the best at capturing the magic of the moon.

Impressionism had a great influence on art at the end of the Nineteenth century. James McNeill Whistler, an American painter, was greatly influenced by this new school of thought. He gave his paintings simple titles in order to tell us that the composition of the painting had more importance than the subject. The questions and activities for stimulating thought and writing are endless. But, here are a few examples:

1. In Homer’s The Morning Bell, describe the colors.
2. Where is she going?
3. What is she wearing?
4. What is she walking on?
5. Is she alone?
6. What time of day is it? How do you know?
7. In West’s Agrippina . . . , why are the colors of the figures subdued?
8. What does this painting inspire?
9. Where does the setting take place?
10. Research the story behind this painting.
K. Impressionism and Modern Art: Suddenly in art, the subjects are no longer important; in fact, at times, there is no subject. This great change came about in France because a group of artists wanted to show exactly what they saw with their eyes. The first to initiate this new art movement was Gustave Courbet, who believed that the only true subject for the artist is everyday life as actually seen or experienced. Hunter on Horseback is the title of his work on display at Yale. How does the artist strike a note of melancholy and disillusionment?

Edouard Manet believed that art was catching life at a glance. He was also interested in capturing the bright outdoor light because we really can not look at things in the bright sunlight. We see what we expect to see, not the tricks that nature plays on us. Manet’s work at Yale is titled, Young Woman Reclining in Spanish Costume. How does the artist paint the woman? Is she married? Is there movement in the painting?

Artists who began to experiment with light in this period were known as “Impressionists” because they tried to paint a moment’s impression of light and color. Some of the greatest of these artists included, Claude Monet, who lived on a houseboat on the River Seine in order to be closer to nature. Of his works, which are not part of Yale’s permanent collection, we can view Port Donnant, Belle Isle, and The Artist’s Garden at Giverny.

Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas used this impressionistic technique to paint portraits and other studies of people. Degas’ works at Yale are titled Horses with Jockeys and Ballet Rehearsal. Renoir and Degas were also interested in capturing the effect of movement. They painted subjects in motion. Other famous artists that followed were Auguste Rodin, Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin. All these artists have their works at Yale. The most interesting are van Gogh’s Night Cafe and Cauguin’s Paradis Perdu.

Perhaps the greatest artist of our century was Pablo Picasso, a Spaniard. Picasso’s style includes compositions made up of planes that look like many blocks or cubes. This manner of painting geometrical shapes is known as “Cubism.” Yale has quite a few paintings by Picasso which can be explored or studied by the students such as First Steps and Dog and Cock. The students can be shown slides or prints of these paintings first and then they can be asked to give the composition a title. Other activities and questions should include:

1. Give titles to the compositions with five lines of description and one or more lines of what the painting means to them.
2. In First Stees, who are the characters?
3. In Night Cafe, what do the colors represent?
4. Introduce the vocabulary for each painting.
5. Introduce opposites.
6. Introduce the passive voice.
7. Introduce more irregular verbs.
8. More opposites (with prefixes).
9. In Paradis Perdu, describe the painting. Does it tell a story?
10. What does the Ballet Rehearsal tell you about Degas?
11. Why did Picasso distort his figures?
12. Research Picasso’s different periods.
13. Why did van Gogh cut off his ear?
14. Why did Monet live on a house boat? Would you live on one?
15. What are some advantages and disadvantages of living on a houseboat?

III. Sample Lesson Plans:

Day One

A. Introduce the vocabulary for Greek Period.
1. Pronunciation drill.
2. Compare the Greek period with the Egyptian period by using the new vocabulary.
B. Show the filmstrip Rise of the City States—Golden Age: The Ascendency of Athens.
1. Discuss.
2. Stress vocabulary by having students use it in their discussions.
C. Assignment:
1. Have students write five to ten sentences on the Greek period from either what was learned in the classroom discussions or on the filmstrip.
Day Two

A. Introduce some Greek gods and goddesses.
1. Use the list on appendix II.
2. Discuss some of the myths.
3. Ask students if they can recall other gods and goddesses and/ or other myths.
4. Stress vocabulary from this period in their speech as well as in their writing.
B. Show filmstrip Apllo and Phaeton.
1. Who is Apollo?
2. Who is Phaeton?
3. Discuss.
C. Assignment:
1. Have students write a paragraph describing their favorite myth.
Day Three

A. Take Tour of Yale Art Gallery and have guide stress paintings with mythological themes.
1. Have students take notes and ask questions.
B. Assignment:
1. Composition on students’ experiences at the Gallery.

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1. Batterberry, Ariane Ruskin, The Pantheon Story of Art, (New York, Random House, Inc., 1975) p. 8-9.
2. Batterberry, Ariane Ruskin, The Pantheon Story of Art, (New York, Random House, Inc., 1975) p. 13.

IV. Teachers’ Bibliography

Addison, Julia. Classic Myths in Art. London, England: T. Werner Laurie, 1904. Discusses the presence of myths in art (273 p.).

Alexander, Hertley Burr. The Mythology of All Races (Latin America Vol. XI). New York: Cooper Square Publishers Inc., 1964. Very interesting book with names and myths surrounding different gods of different regions with plates.

Bandi, Hans-George, et al. The Art of the Stone Age. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1961. Introduction to the primitive art forms.

Barolsky, Paul. Infinite Jest: Wit and Humor in Italian Renaissance Art. Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 1978. Excellent book on the place of humor in Renaissance art.

Bonnerjea Biren. A Dictionary of Superstion. Detroit, Michigan: Singing Tree Press 1969. Full of informative material on the subject (299p.).

Brown, Baldwin. The Art of the Cave Dwellers. Edinburgh, Great Britain: T. & A. Constable, Ltd, 1946. A study of the earliest artistic activities of man.

Collins, M. Rose and Olive L. Riley. Art Appreciation for Junior and Senior High Schools. New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1939. Excellent text to use as supplementary material to develop art appreciation. Full of exercises (334 p.).

Devambez, Pierre. Compass History of Art: Greek Painting. New York: Viking Press, Inc., 1962 Introduction to Greek Painting.

Fox, William Sherwood. The Mythology of All Races Greek & Roman Vol. I). New York: Cooper Square Publishers, Inc, 1964. Very different and interesting book with names and myths surrounding the different gods.

Gallagher, Sharon. Medieval Art. New York: Tudor Publishing Co., 1969. Concise history with plates on Medieval art (91 p.).

Jameson, Mrs. Legends of the Madonna. London, England: Ballantyne Press, 1890. Gives pertinent information on the Madonna in art (330 p.).

Pattison, James William. The World’s Painters Since Leonardo. New York: Duffield & Co., 1904. History of painting from the Renaissance to the present day.

Pignatti, Terisio. Painting Through the Eighteenth Century. New York: Newsweek Books, 1974. Interesting book on painting with section on the lives of the painters.

Rogers, Lester B., et al. Story of Nations. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1956. World history and ancient civilization text.

Scully, Vincent. The Earth, the Temple, and the Gods. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969. Reveals the connection between the earth, the temples, and the gods in ancient civilization (271 p.).

Silva E., R.S. Diego Rivera’s Frescoes in the National Palace and Elsewhere in Mexico City. Mexico City, Mexico: Sinalomex Editorial, 1966. Gives very pertinent information on the history and background of the ancient civilization.

Stenico, Arturo. Roman and Etruscan Painting. New York: The Viking Press, 1936. An introduction to classical art disproving disproving many notions about this style.

Stone, Irving. The Agony and the Ecstasy. Garden City, New York: International Collections Library, 1961. A novel on Michelangelo—very interesting and informative (689 p.).

V. Teachers’ and Students, Bibliography

Batterberry, Ariane Ruskin. The Pantheon Story of Art for Young People. New York: (Pantheon Books) Random House, Inc., 1975. The history of art simplified for young people (159 p.).

Boak, Arthur E. R., et al. The History of Our World. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1961. History of the world which deals with art and civilization. (794 p.).

Rogers, W. G. A Picture is a Picture. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1964. This book will entice the novice for it covers Post-Impression and other transformations of the modern period such as: Fauvism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Nonobjectivism and Abstract Expressionism.

Rothenstein, Sir John. The Great Artists: A Library of Their Lives, Times, and Paintings. (Book # 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25) New York: Funk & Wagnalls, Inc., 1978. Excellent booklets with background information on the artists with plates and posters on their works and explanations.

Stone, Irving. The Story of Michelangelo’s Pietˆ. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1964. Gives historical information oh how Michelangelo sculpted the Pietˆ.

Venturi, Lionello. Four Steps toward Modern Art. New York: Columbia University Press, 1956. Concise text on the development of modern art through Giogione, Caravaggio, Monet, CEzanne, etc.

VI. Classroom Materials

Slides projector
Motion Picture projector
Filmstrip projector
map or globe of the world
Filmstrips (Most of the audiovisual materials listed are available from the Department of Audiovisual Education in New Haven.)
Advancing with Collage
Olympic Glory
Glory That Was Greece
Grandeur That Was Rome
New Nations Arise—The Dark Ages 400-1000 A.D.
Man Achieves New Freedoms—The Middle Ages 1000-1492
Rebirth of Learning—The Renaissance
Hellenic Greeks
Hellenistic Greeks
Roman Republic
Roman Empire
Migration of the Medieval Peoples
Medieval Church
Medieval Towns and Cities
River Cultures—Egypt
Dark Ages
Crusades—Europe Awakens
Life in a Medieval Castle
Our Heritage from Old England
Crusades and Early Trade Routes
Creativity and Change in the Middle Ages
Art, Literature and Sports 1865-1900
Prometheus and Pandora
Apollo and Phaeton
Ceres and Proserpina
Baucis and Philemon
Atlantas’ Race
Minerva and Arachne
Golden Age of Italy
Combination Filmstrips with Records (by subject)
The Growth of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptian Civilization
Everyday life of the Ancient Egyptians
Rise of the City—States—Golden Age: The Ascendency of Athens People of Rome
Religions of Rome
Roman Communities and Homes—Roman Architecture and Art Medieval Prelude—Europe’ s Awakening
The Renaissance in Italy—Age of Reform and Discovery Rise of Spain and England—Rise of France and Germany

Motion Pictures

Art and You
Art of the Middle Ages
Art: What Is It, Why Is It?
Athens—The Golden Age
Developing the Vocabulary (30 min.)
Discovering Color (15 min.)
Discovering Composition in Art (16 min.)
Discovering Creative Pattern (17 mim.)
Discovering Dark and Light (18 min.)
Discovering Harmony in Art (16 min.)
Discovering Ideas in Art (16 min.)
Discovering Line (17 min)
Discovering Perspective (14 min.)
Indians in the Americas (15 min.)
Medieval Manor (21 min.)
Michelangelo (30 min.)
Planning the Story: New Ways in Compositions (30 min)
Punctuation: Mark your Meaning (10 min.)
Reviewing for a Test (11 min.)
Rivers of Time (23 min.)

Slides (These slides are available at the Yale Art Gallery. Be sure to note the last number used when asking for the slides.)

Set No. I Renaissance

Slide No. 029. J Sandro Botticelli (school of) (close follower) Madonna with Pomegranate (1871.50)
Set No. II European, 16th Century to 1900

Slide No. 004 Edgar Degas, Horses with Jockeys, 1942. 302.
“ 0005Ballet Rehearsal, 52,43. 1.
“ 006Woman Drying Her Hair, 1971. 25.
“ 012 Edouard Manet, Reclining Woman in Spanish Costume, 1961.18.23.
“ 013 Amedeo Modigliani, Portrait of a Young Woman, 1948. 123.
“ 014 Sir Joshua Reynolds, Mr. & Mrs. Godfrey Wentworth, 1979.46.
“ 015 “ “ “ “ “ 1979.46.
“ 020 Vincent van Gogh, Night Café, 1961.1834.
“ 021 “ “ “ A Corner in the Park, 1958.59.
“ 025 Paul Gauguin, Le Paradis Perdu, 1890.
Set No. III American, 17th Century to 1900

Slide No. 014 John Singleton Copley, Dr. Alexander McWhorter, 1886.2.

“ 015 “ “ “ Mrs. Pickman, 1966.79.3.
“ 016 “ “ “ “ “ 1966.79.3.
“ 017 “ “ “ “ “ 1966.79.2.
“ 018 “ “ “ Mr. Benjamin Pickman, 1966.79.2.
“ 019 “ “ “ Portrait of Isaac Smith, 1941.74.
“ 020 “ “ “ Death of Major Pierson, 1949.90.
“ 021 “ “ “ Mrs. Isaac Smith, 1941.74.
“ 022 “ “ “
“ 042 Winslow Homer, Below Zero, 1968.87.
“ 043 “ “ “
“ 044 “ “ A Game of Croquet, 1961 18.25.
“ 045 “ “ The Morning Bell 1961.18.26.
“ 046 “ “ “ “
Slide No. 047 Winslow Homer, Yorktown, 1930.15.

“ 057 Samuel F. B. Morse, By Candlelight Mrs. Jedidiah Morse, 51.58.1.
“ 058 “ “ “ Alexander Metcalf Fisher, 1822.1.
“ 062 Gilbert Stuart, Mrs. William Sullivan, 1943.65.
“ 063 “ “ John Trumbull, 1945.238.
“ 078 Benjamin West, Agrippina Returning to Hrundisium with the Ashes of Germanicus, 1947.16.
Slide No. 079 Benjamin West “ “ “ “

“ 080 “ “ “ “ “ “
“ 081 “ “ Cicero Discovering the Tomb of Archimedes, 1963.49.
Set No. IV Modern: European and American from 1900

Slide No. 024.SA Pablo Picasso, Dog and Cock, 1958.1.

“ 025.SA “ “ First Steps, 1958.27.
“ 001 Stela with Figure in Animal Costume, 1958.15.7.
“ 001 Greek relief, Five Divinities (Apollo, Aphrodite, Athena, Hera, Zeus), 1965.132.

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APPENDIX I: Tour Information for the Yale Art Gallery

The Education Office at the Yale University Art Gallery is very eager to work with the New Haven teachers. The staff is extremely professional while at the same time friendly. They are there to assist in any way with the development of programs related to the museum.

For a tour, contact either Janet Dixon or Janet Gordon of the Education Office at 436-2490. Yale will provide one FREE school bus, which can accommodate two classes on any of these days: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (if necessary, Thursdays also). The Gallery is closed on Mondays. The classes are picked up at approximately 9:15 A.M., tour the Gallery from 9:30 to 10:30 A.M., and return to school by 11:00 A.M. Also, inform the staff of your interest, and they will comply.

Arrangements are also made for borrowing some filmstrips, photographs, and slides.


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APPENDIX II: List of Some of the More Familiar Greek Gods and Goddesses

Along with Their Roman Counterparts

Aphrodite—Venus: goddess of love and beauty.

Ares—Mars: The god of war; protector of fields, leader of military colonists; father of Romulus.

Artemis—Diana: often portrayed as a virgin huntress and identified as a moon goddess; also goddess of childhood.

Athene—Minerva: goddess of war and wisdom.

Atropos—Morta: another goddess of Fate.

Dionysus—Bacchus: god of wine and riotous merriment. Son of Jupiter and Semele.

Eros—Cupid: son of Aphrodite who pierced the hearts of men and women with love darts; god of erotic love.

Hades—Pluto: god of hell.

Hera—Juno: wife of Zeus; protectress of marriage. Considered by poets to be haughty, jealous, and vindictive. Also queen of heaven; goddess of light, beginnings, birth and women.

Hermes—Mercury: god with winged sandals who serves as herald and messenger of the other gods.

Lachesis—Decuma: one of three goddesses of Fate.

Morpheus, same: god of dreams.

Paian—Apollo: god of light; sun god; god of manly youth and beauty; god of poetry and music, and wisdom of oracles.

Pan, same: goat footed, two horned lover of din and revel; god of shepherds and hunters; traditional inventor of the bagpipe.

Poseidon—Neptune: god of water, horses and chivalry; ruled the ocean.

Priapos—Priapus: god of gardens and vines; god of male generative powers.

Zeus—Jupiter: son of Saturn and Rhea, brother of Pluto and Neptune. He conquered the Titans, deposed his father, gave the sea to his brother Neptune and the underworld to Pluto and kept for himself the heavenly kingdom. God of light, of the sky and weather, and of the state and its welfare and laws.

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APPENDIX III: List of Some Mythological Characters

Achilles (Greek): Son of Thetis and Peleus. Mother dipped son in river in order to make him invulnerable. His only vulnerable part was his heel because his mother held him by one heel; greatest warrior among Greeks at Troy and slayer of Hector.

Adonis (classical): A beautiful youth beloved by Aphrodite. He was born of a myrrh tree. He was slain by a wild boar. After his death, he was changed into an anemone by Aphrodite upon his being restored to her from Hades.

Antigone: A daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta who buries her brother Polynices’ body against the order of her uncle Creone. She was her father’s guide after he had torn out his eyes. She is the symbol of strength and bravery.

Baucis: wife of Philemon who with him presided over a temple of Zeus.

Ceres (Demeter): Roman goddess of agriculture.

Daphne: a nymph transformed into a laurel tree and thus enabled to escape the pursuing amorous Apollo.

Hercules: A mythical Greek hero fabled for his great strength and especially for performing twelve labors imposed upon him by Hera.

Pandora: box sent by the gods with Pandora as a gift to Epimetheus, which she was forbidden to open and which loosened a swarm of evils upon mankind when she opened it out of curiosity.

Phaethon: a son of Helios who drives his father’s sun-chariot through the sky but loses control and is struck down by a thunder bolt of Zeus.

Philemona: a poor aged Phrygian who with his wife entertained Zeus and was rewarded with a splendid temple over which the couple presided.

Prometheus: A Titan who stole fire from heaven and gave it to man, and was consequently put to extreme torture by Zeus.

Proserpina (Persephone): A daughter of Zeus and Demeter abducted by Pluto to reign with him over the underworld.

Romulus: a son of Mars and legendary founder of Rome raised by a she-wolf.

Remus: a son of Mars and slain by his twin brother Romulus.

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APPENDIX IV: Sample Vocabulary Lists on Egyptian and Greek Arts




civilization—civilized—to civilize—civil severe



unification—to unify


to found, founder, foundation



to obey, obedience

believe, belief

to exist, existence

preserve, preservation



needs, necessity











to grind

flour, flower



beauty marks









athletic, athlete

god, goddess

king, queen

immortal, immortality


Myth, mythological, mythical

stiff, stiffness







life, lively

portray, portrait



seren, sernity

ideal, idealistic, ideally

skill ambrosia



extra-sensory vision



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