Every child should leave school with at least a couple of hundred pictures by great masters hanging permanently in the halls of his imagination . . .
— Charlotte Mason
Last term our ‘artist of the term’ was the magnificent Michelangelo di Ludovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475-1564). This was a treat, if a little brief for such an artistic giant – sculptor, painter, architect and poet.
There has just been an exhibition of Michelangelo’s drawings at the Ashmolean Museum. I tend to keep an eye out for upcoming exhibitions and try to link them into our studies. My son did say the other day, “Mummy, isn’t it amazing that every time we learn about an artist, suddenly their paintings are in Oxford!” This made me smile, and I enlightened him as to my planning method! The exhibition was a highlight of the term, and having acquainted ourselves a little with Michelangelo’s life and work beforehand made all the difference. I’ve just spotted that another exhibition, ‘Conserving Michelangelo’, is coming next month to Christ Church Picture Gallery, so we’ll make our way there too.
When studying an artist, we generally read a short living illustrated biography and then spend a few minutes each week enjoying one or two of their paintings or sculptures. Not intense, but hopefully a simple introduction to a love and appreciation of art.
Note to teachers, parents and homeschoolers: I really recommend these artist study packs from Simply Charlotte Mason. They are beautifully presented and have been an invaluable time saver. No prep. needed: choose an artist, and then download and print a pdf. Simple!