If you were 7 years old, would you care to know the date that Leonardo Da Vinci was born, and died, and who he was apprenticed to? Possibly no. But he was a remarkably interesting man, and you may like to know these snippets about him;
- “da Vinci” simply means “from Vinci.” Vinci was the town in Italy where Leonardo was born.
- Leonardo was a master artist, but he was also a scientist, inventor, musician and song writer, engineer and architect! He enjoyed making his own instruments.
- He made plans for a submarine long before anyone else thought of it, but destroyed them on conscience.
- He was so amazed when thinking on the abilities of the eye, that he declared, “O powerful action! What spirit can penetrate your nature? What tongue will know how to express that marvel? None, for sure. That is where human discourse turns to the contemplation of the divine.”
- Leonardo wrote nearly everything in mirror handwriting.
- He painted two of the world’s most famous paintings– the Mona Lisa, and The Last Supper.
If you think Leonardo da Vinci sounds like an interesting person, you can read more about him at Garden of Praise, where you will also find puzzles and questions to answer.
For a closer look at the Mona Lisa, the Louvre has a very interesting audio visual presentation that walks you through an investigation of the painting and its context. You can browse the menu on the left, or advance through the options to view the entire presentation.
You can read Leonardo’s letter to Ludovico the Moor detailing some of his inventions of war, as a draft was preserved from his notebooks.
This itsy bitsy art history lesson was written for my own children, and to share with friends in our home schooling art group. I hope to continue it as a series and you are welcome to follow along with us if you wish. If you have thoughts or suggestions feel free to offer them : )
If my topic choices are not to your taste, or my posting is too eratic, there are many choices for children’s art history available on the web.
Garden of Praise is written with care and thought for children’s sensitivity, and includes many useful tools to help augment your lesson.
Michelle from Down Under Literature has a downloadable pdf list of Australian artists with pictures you may like to study, as well as examples of what her family does for art appreciation.
Artists in 60 seconds has an alphabetical list of artists to choose from and gives a brief fact skeleton as well as links for further reading.
Have fun exploring!