- Art Gallery -




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Instructor in drawing in Waite High School, Toledo, Ohio


Illustrated with Half Tones from
Original Photographs




Copyright, 1918
By Rand McNally & Co.

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[Pg v]


September and October   PAGE
    "Feeding Her Birds" Millet 1
    "Children of Charles I" Van Dyck 10
November, December, and January
    "Four Little Scamps Are We" Adam 21
    "Madonna of the Chair" Raphael 27
February and March
    "Miss Bowles" Reynolds 35
    "Two Mothers and Their
Elizabeth Bouguereau 42
April, May, and June
    "Can't You Talk?" Holmes 48
    Review of Pictures and Artists Studied
The Suggestions to Teachers   53

[Pg vii]


Art supervisors in the public schools assign picture-study work in each grade, recommending the study of certain pictures by well-known masters. As Supervisor of Drawing I found that the children enjoyed this work but that the teachers felt incompetent to conduct the lessons as they lacked time to look up the subject and to gather adequate material. Recourse to a great many books was necessary and often while much information could usually be found about the artist, very little was available about his pictures.

Hence I began collecting information about the pictures and preparing the lessons for the teachers just as I would give them myself to pupils of their grade.

My plan does not include many pictures during the year, as this is to be only a part of the art work and is not intended to take the place of drawing.

The lessons in this grade are planned for the usual drawing period of from twenty to thirty minutes, and have been given in that time successfully.

Flora L. Carpenter

Birds being fed


[Pg 1]



Original Picture: Lille Museum, Lille, France.

Artist: Jean François Millet (zhäN fräN´swä´´ mē´lĕ´´).

Birthplace: Gruchy, France.

Dates: Born, 1814; died, 1875.

Questions to arouse interest. What do you see in this picture? What are the children doing? Where do they live? On what are they sitting? Whom can you see behind the house? What is he doing? What do you think the children were doing before their mother called them? why? What does the hen expect? What else do you see in the picture? What time of day do you think it is? Why is this picture called "Feeding Her Birds"? How many like it? why?

The story of the picture. In a tiny white cottage in a little village in France, lived a painter with his wife and nine children. This painter's name was Jean François Millet, and although quite poor his was a very happy family. Nearly every morning the father [Pg 2] worked hard in his garden behind the house, and every afternoon in a queer little old room he called his studio. Here he painted beautiful pictures of places and people he saw and loved. Almost all of his pictures are of the country and of people who worked, because he knew most about them and because he loved them best.

Sometimes he finished his work in the garden very early, and then he was glad, for he liked better to paint than to do anything else in the world.

One day when he looked out through the window of his studio he saw a much prettier picture than the one he was painting. He saw three of his children sitting in a row on the doorstep, while the mother fed broth to each of them in turn from a wooden spoon. As they crowded close together they reminded him of some little birds he had been watching that morning. You know how little birds open their bills and crowd toward the edge of the nest when the mother bird feeds them? Millet thought he would paint this picture, and name it "Feeding Her Birds."

See how the mother tips forward on the stool as she bends toward the three children. That is a wooden spoon she holds in her hand, and it is full of hot broth from the bowl in her [Pg 3] lap. The children seem to be very hungry. No doubt they have been playing hard all the morning.

It is easy to see with what the little girl at the left-hand side of the picture has been playing. She holds her wooden doll very close, and loves it just as much as if it were china and had real hair as your own doll has. She is the eldest of the children, and you can see she is unselfish because she sits patiently by while her baby brother and little sister get the first taste of the delicious broth.

The boy and the younger girl must have been playing with the basket and cart you see in the picture, for the basket is overturned as if it had been dropped in a hurry when the mother came to the door with the broth. Now the playthings are quite forgotten.

The boy opens his mouth wide as he leans forward for the first taste, while the little sister puts her arm around him to hold him steady. As she watches him, she opens her mouth, too.

See the hen running toward them! She thinks there will surely be something for her to eat, too.

The three children wear long aprons all alike, and the queer wooden shoes that the peasants always wore in those days. What a clatter those wooden shoes must have made [Pg 4] even when the children played in the yard! And what a noise they made on the wooden floors in the house unless the children walked very carefully!

The girls wear bonnets tied with string, while the boy has a cap that looks very much like a tam-o'-shanter, except that it, too, is tied under his chin. The mother wears a handkerchief on her head and another round her neck. Her dress looks thick and warm, and so do the children's dresses. It must be a cool day, for even the doll is wrapped in a shawl.

The man behind the house is working busily in the garden. Millet must have thought of himself when he painted this man, for, like the father bird, he must work hard to get enough food for his family. Sometimes there was very little, and the bread had to be divided into such tiny pieces that the children were still hungry when they had eaten their share.

We know it must be about noon because the shadows in the picture are so short. What a nice big yard these children had to play in, and what good times they must have had playing all kinds of games! They had lived in the city of Paris several years and for that reason, no doubt, they liked to play "keeping store" best of all. They gathered acorns, stones, and flowers, and placed them on a big wooden box [Pg 5] for a counter. Then they took turns being storekeeper.

Perhaps to-day it had been the boy's turn, and he had stood behind the counter ready to sell his goods. The younger girl had come first, carrying a basket. Probably they called the stones oranges or apples, and, judging by the overturned basket, the little girl must have bought at least a dozen. Next had come the little mother, with her doll baby riding in the cart. This cart is hardly large enough for the doll and so it had to be guided very carefully to keep dolly from falling out.

When the mother called, the elder of the two girls had caught up her doll quickly, leaving the cart behind; the younger sister had tossed her basket of oranges away in glee, while the boy forgot all about his store at the thought of the hot broth they were to have.

The high doorway of this little one-story, whitewashed house of plaster and stones is just wide enough for the three children to sit one beside the other. That great vine growing up beside the door is probably an ivy vine, for we are told that the little white cottage is still standing and is completely covered with ivy.

Everything you see in the picture is home-made,—the clothes, the doll, the spoon, the [Pg 6] cart, the basket, and even the milking stool upon which the mother is seated.

Sitting there in the bright sunlight, these round-faced, happy little children will soon finish their broth; then they will be ready to begin the "store-keeping" game again.

Questions to help the pupil understand the picture. In what country did these children live? In what kind of house did they live? What grew up beside the door? What did their father do for a living? What was his name? Where did he paint his pictures? What kind of pictures did he like best to paint? why? How did he happen to paint this picture? Why did he call the picture "Feeding Her Birds"? Upon what is the mother sitting? What kind of a spoon has she in her hand? What is in it, and in the bowl in her lap? What makes you think the children are hungry? Which one is fed first? Which one will probably wait until the last? why? How are the children dressed? What kind of shoes have they? How many of you have ever seen wooden shoes? How is the mother dressed? What makes you think it must be a cool day? What do the shadows tell us of the time of day? What game did these children like to play? What did they have to play with? Who made their toys and clothes? What did they do when their mother called them? What makes you think they were happy children?

[Pg 7] To the Teacher: After the story is told, the children should be allowed to act out the picture. Stools or kindergarten chairs placed in the schoolroom doorway, and a spoon, a doll, a cart, and a basket, which the children will gladly bring from home, are all the accessories needed. It is well to let the pupils act out the game which the children are supposed to have been playing when the mother called them, as well as the story in the picture itself.

The story of the artist. Shall we tell you something about the man, Millet, who painted this picture?

Jean François Millet was the son of poor French peasants. His father was a good man, very fond of music and of all beautiful things out of doors. Sometimes he would say to his son, "Look at that tree, how large and beautiful it is; as beautiful as a flower!" He would call his son's attention to the fields, the sunsets, and all things around him.

Millet's mother worked in the fields with his father all day long. So it was his grandmother who rocked him to sleep and cared for him while he was very little. She was the one who named him Jean after his father, and François after the good St. Francis. She was a religious woman, and almost the only pictures Millet saw when he was a boy were those in his grandmother's Bible. He copied them many times, [Pg 8] drawing them with white chalk on the stone wall. This pleased the grandmother very much, and she encouraged him all she could.

When he was eighteen years old Millet drew his first great picture. This is how it happened. As he was coming home from church he met an old man with bent back leaning on a cane as he walked slowly along. Something about the bent figure made Millet want to draw a picture of him. So, taking some charcoal from his pocket, he drew the picture on a stone wall. The people passing by knew at once who it was; they were pleased and told Millet so. His father, too, was delighted, for he himself had once wished to be an artist. He decided that his son should become what he had wished to be; so he sent him to a good teacher.

Millet worked very hard, but for a long time his pictures did not sell, and he was very poor. After a while people saw what wonderful pictures he could paint, and they were glad to let him know how much they thought of him and of his beautiful paintings.

Questions about the artist. Who painted this picture? What kind of a man was his father? What did he tell his son about the trees? What did Millet's mother do? Who took care of Millet while his parents worked in the fields? What kind of pictures did Millet [Pg 9] have to look at? What did he draw first? Where did he draw? Who helped him? Tell about the old man leaning on a cane. On what did Millet draw his picture? Who saw it? What did they say? What did his father say? What did he wish his son to be? What did Millet do then? What do people think of his pictures now? How many of you like this picture?

[Pg 10]


Original Picture: Turin (tū´´rĭn) Gallery, Turin, Italy.

Artist: Sir Anthony Van Dyck (văn dīk´´).

Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium.

Dates: Born, 1599; died, 1641.

Questions to arouse interest. What are these three little children doing? Who are they? Did you ever have your picture taken? Where did you go to have it taken? Where do you think these children are? Why did they not go to a photographer as we do? Who, do you suppose, brought them to the studio? How are they dressed? How long do you suppose these children had to stand to have their picture painted? How did the photographer tell you to stand? What is the baby holding in his hands? What do you see on the rug in front of the little girl? Why do you suppose the dog sits so quietly near Prince Charles? Which child should you like best to play with? Who painted this picture? Do you like it? why?

The story of the picture. Once there lived a very beautiful queen and a very proud king. They had three beautiful children, whom they loved very dearly. They were very proud of these children, and gave them everything they could to make them happy.

The child standing so straight with his hand [Pg 11] on the dog's head is a boy, although he is dressed much like a girl. His name is Prince Charles. He had the finest little pony and cart you ever did see. His sister, Mary, the little girl standing beside him, had a very beautiful doll that could do so many wonderful things that it really seemed to be alive. The baby, Prince James, had such a great number of toys they almost filled a large room. There were several servants who brought out the toys and put them away again, and who had nothing else to do but wait upon these children. The children had a fine large yard to play in, too. It was so large that people called it a park. The king had his gardener build a seat up in one of the big oak trees, and there the children could play all kinds of games.

It was great fun to climb up into this seat, where they were just as high up as the birds. On windy days the big tree would rock back and forth just like a swing. One day they were having a good time in the park when they were told their mother wanted them. They were to be dressed to go and have their pictures painted.

There were no cameras in those days, so there was no photograph gallery to go to. But instead, there was a great artist whose name was Sir Anthony Van Dyck. He painted beautiful pictures with oil paints. Prince Charles had already had his picture painted so many [Pg 12] times he probably would not have cared to go if it had not been for the boat ride he knew he would have. You see, the king's palace and Sir Anthony Van Dyck's house both stood near the banks of the same river. Sir Anthony had a private boat landing made just for the king and queen and their children. The king liked so much to watch Sir Anthony Van Dyck paint that he used to visit him nearly every day. He had several fine boats to take him there.

It must have taken a long time before the children were dressed and ready to go. "Baby Stuart," as people loved to call little Prince James, wore blue silk, trimmed with lace. His brother wore rose-colored silk, with a large lace collar and cuffs. I don't see how he could run or even walk in such a long, heavy dress; do you? It looks as if it were his very best dress. Probably he had a shorter one to play in.

How strange it seems that both the boys wear bonnets tied under their chins, while the little girl does not. Perhaps they did not want to spoil her pretty curls. Princess Mary's dress is white satin, trimmed with lace. She looks like a grown-up lady in that dress. People said she looked just like her lovely queen mother. No doubt her mother curled her hair and put the string of pearl beads [Pg 13] around her neck. Probably the queen mother also gave Baby Stuart the big red apple he holds in his hands. He was only two years old, and she thought he might get hungry or need something to play with.

King's children

Children of Charles I

When at last they were all ready, the boats were waiting for them. Several ladies went with the queen, so it was quite a party. It was a beautiful ride down the river to Sir Anthony [Pg 14] Van Dyck's house. When at last the boats came to the landing place, very likely Prince Charles was the first to jump on shore.

The great Sir Anthony Van Dyck himself came out to meet them. He was glad to have three such lovely children to paint. He was very fond of children and then, too, he always liked to have a great many people about him. When the party entered his studio,—the room where Van Dyck painted,—they found many people already there. The ladies wore beautiful dresses and the men, too, were dressed in velvets and silks, and carried shining swords. Sir Anthony Van Dyck had a very large, fine dog, and as soon as the dog saw the children he came right up to them. He seemed to like Prince Charles best, and sat beside him all the time his picture was being painted. He liked to feel the soft stroke of Prince Charles's kind hand.

Baby Stuart stands upon a raised platform and his head is almost as high as his sister's. He looks a little shy as he stands there, holding his apple tight in his chubby little hands. His sister Mary must have held some roses in her hand and dropped them. Can you see them on the rug, in front of her? If Baby Stuart should drop his apple, perhaps the dog would bring it to him.

[Pg 15] Sir Anthony Van Dyck was very fond of music, and always had some musicians playing while he painted. The children liked the music, too, and it made them forget they were standing still so long. The ladies and gentlemen talked together in another part of the room, but this did not disturb the artist. He was so absorbed in his work that he did not hear them, and no one would have thought of interrupting him.

The children stood still almost half an hour that day before the artist said, "That will do"; and they came several times before Sir Anthony Van Dyck could finish painting their faces. Then he told their mother to send him the three little dresses the children were wearing, and he would paint them without the children. You may be sure the children were glad they did not need to stand while the dresses were being painted.

Sir Anthony Van Dyck painted a curtain just back of the children, and through the window we see a rosebush which may be the one from which the little Princess Mary picked her roses. The great artist painted many pictures of these three children, but the king and queen liked this one best of all.

A long time after this picture was painted the father, King Charles I, was beheaded by [Pg 16] some of his people who did not like him. Prince Charles grew up to be King Charles II. He did not like to do anything but have a good time, so people called him the "Merry Monarch." He nearly always took a dog with him wherever he went, even to church. He seemed to like a certain very small dog best, and people named these dogs after him. They called them "King Charles spaniels." Have you ever seen a King Charles spaniel?

When Princess Mary was only ten years old she was married to the Prince of Orange, who was then only fifteen years of age. But she lived in her own home until she grew up. When at last she did go to live in her husband's country every one was glad to see her, for she was such a good and wise princess. She often helped her brothers, too, for it seemed as if they were always in trouble.

Baby Stuart grew up to be a great naval officer, who fought and won battles on a big boat at sea. When his brother, King Charles II, died, he became King James II.

When you look at this picture of Baby Stuart you feel sure he will grow up to be a good king. But, do you know, he was not a good king. The people did not like him at all, and even drove him out of the country. But we like to think of him always as a pretty baby whose [Pg 17] queen mother used to sing him to sleep just as other mothers do.

These three children liked to play and have a good time just as much as we do. It would be great fun to visit them and play with them, would it not?

Questions to help the pupil understand the picture. Whose children are these? Where did they live? Where did they play? Which one is Prince Charles? Tell about him. When he grew up what did he become? What kind of a king was he? What kind of dogs were named after him? why? How is he dressed in this picture? Whose dog is he petting? Who stands next to him? What color is Princess Mary's dress? Whom did she look like? Why do you suppose she does not wear a cap or bonnet like her brothers? How is her hair combed? How old was she when she married the Prince of Orange? What kind of a princess was she? Whom did she help? Upon what is Baby Stuart standing? What color is his dress? When he grew up, what did he become? What kind of a king was he? How old was he when this picture was painted? Where was it painted? Who brought the children to the studio? How did they bring them? Who met them at the landing? What kind of a place was this studio? How long did the children stand? What helped to keep them from getting tired? After Sir Anthony Van Dyck had painted their faces, what did he say [Pg 18] about their dresses? What did the king and queen think about this picture? What do you think about it?

To the Teacher: Allow the children to act out the story. They will enjoy representing the children at play in the park, getting dressed for their picture, and finally posing for it. Wrapping paper or even common newspapers may be used to make the stiff, long skirts and the caps. A make-believe boat is satisfactory. A kindergarten stool will do for the platform on which Baby Stuart is standing.

The story of the artist. Sir Anthony Van Dyck's father kept a silk store and sold beautiful silks to rich people. He met so many fine folks that he tried to be like them himself, and soon had as fine manners as the best of them. This made him just a little bit too proud, so that he no longer cared to have anything to do with any one who was common or poor.

The boy Anthony grew up with something of the same feeling. When he was very little he did not like to play with other boys, but preferred to sit in his father's shop where the great ladies came to buy silk. He liked to have them smile at him, and to smile shyly back at them.

Anthony's mother made the most exquisite embroidery and painted beautiful flowers. She gave the little boy his first lessons in painting. [Pg 19] By the time Anthony was old enough to go to school his parents had become very rich, and nothing was too good for their little boy. He liked to draw better than anything else, and so when he was fourteen years old they sent him to a good teacher to learn how to draw and paint. Here he worked very hard. He did so well that in two years, when he wanted to study with the great Dutch artist, Rubens, the artist was glad to have him as his pupil.

There were a good many boys in the class. One day their teacher, Rubens, went out for a long walk. He always locked the door of his private studio and no one else had a key, except a servant. The boys wanted so much to see what was in that room that they finally persuaded the servant to let them in. Once inside the studio, they crowded close around the new picture Rubens was painting, and one of the boys was pushed against it. His coat sleeve rubbed off the chin and arm of the Virgin the artist was painting. The boys were terribly frightened, and did not know what to do. Finally they decided that the chin and arm must be painted in again. All said that Anthony could do it better than any of the rest.

So well did he paint that even Rubens did not know anything had happened. When he did find out about it he was so pleased to know [Pg 20] that his pupil could paint so well he did not scold the boys at all. After that he often let Anthony help him paint his pictures.

Sir Anthony Van Dyck went on many long journeys to see the work of other artists. He had eleven brothers and sisters, for whom he was always doing helpful things. He admired beautiful silks, satins, velvets, and lace, and liked best to paint people wearing fine clothes. He did it so well, too, that all the people of King Charles's court wanted him to paint their portraits. He could always make them good looking, for even if they had very ugly faces, he painted such beautiful clothes on them that they made lovely pictures.

He must have loved children, for all his paintings of them look as if he did.

Questions about the artist. Who painted this picture? Tell about his mother and father. What did Sir Anthony Van Dyck like to do when he was a little boy? Who taught him to draw? With what great artist did he study when he was older? What happened to one of Rubens's pictures? Who painted it over again? Why did Rubens not scold him? What did Sir Anthony Van Dyck like to paint best? What makes you think he must have loved children?

[Pg 21]


Artist: Julius Adam (ăd´´ăm).

Birthplace: Unknown.

Dates: Unknown.

Questions to arouse interest. How many of you like little kittens? How many have a kitty at home? What are these little kittens doing? Where do you think they are? What makes you think they are all well fed and cared for? What is the color of their fur? How many of them look happy? How many have a ribbon around the neck? What do you suppose these little kittens have been doing? Which one would you choose for your pet? why? Do you think this is a good picture of kittens? Why do you think so? Why do you suppose it is called "Four Little Scamps Are We"?

The story of the picture. Once there was a man named Mr. Adam, who had four little kittens just like these. He liked to watch them play, and they loved him because he was so kind to them. He must have found it very hard to make them keep still long enough for him to paint their pictures. Probably he put them in a large glass cage with wire over the top, as so many painters of cats have done. [Pg 22] The wire was placed over the top so the kittens could have plenty of air. Sometimes Mr. Adam would drop a ball or string down through the wire into the cage and play with the kittens. The sides of the cage were made of glass so that he could watch them while he painted, no matter in what part of the cage they might be.

Perhaps these four little kittens have just had a fine romp through the house. What do you suppose they had for breakfast? Probably a saucer full of milk, which is just what little kittens like best.

Mr. Adam has finally succeeded in chasing his four roguish little kittens into the cage. They do not mind staying in the cage to please him, for they like to have him talk to them and play with them. They try to look their very best for him, and wonder which one he will take up first. Sometimes he must like to take them up in his arms and pet them. Which one would you like to take in your arms?

These four pretty kittens must be very happy, for they look as if they were well cared for. That first little kitten at the left-hand side of the picture seems happy. We suspect she is purring. That is the way she lets us know she is happy, just as children sing when they are happy. I am sure she would like to lie in your lap and let you pet her. She holds [Pg 23] her head a little to one side, and her bright eyes seem to say, "I may be little, but I'm spry. Just roll a marble toward me, and see."


Four Little Scamps Are We

How very wise the second little kitten looks! Perhaps she is proud of her white collar and cuffs. I am sure she keeps them nice and clean. Such a baby she is, to be so thoughtful! But she likes to play, too, no doubt. What do you suppose she is thinking about? Maybe she is thinking of a nice, soft red ball in a basket in the sewing room, and after her picture is painted perhaps she means to get that ball and surprise the other kittens. Then they will all roll over and over on the floor with it. Or maybe the [Pg 24] mamma cat has told her she will show her how to catch a mouse. She will need to keep very quiet then, or the mouse will hear and run away.

The third little kitty is almost all white. She looks as if she saw a bird. We hope she is not such a naughty kitty as to try to catch our pretty birds. I am sure Mr. Adam will not want her to do that, and will teach her better. But, do you know, I believe it is a fly she sees, and I hope she will catch that. She surely does look as if she were planning some mischief as she crouches there ready for anything.

The last little kitten seems to say, "Oh, look at my pretty ribbon! I am the only one of us that wears a ribbon! Is it not fine?" No wonder he holds his head so high! His fur is striped, and he looks like a little tiger kitten.

With such bright eyes and such sharp ears it is no wonder cats hear and see the little mice that go about so quietly. Do you know why a cat has whiskers? They say that the whiskers are always as wide as the widest part of the cat's body, so that when she wants to go through a hole in the fence, or through any narrow place, she can tell whether the opening is large enough. If her whiskers just touch, she can go through all right; but if they are pushed back, then it is of no use for her to try, for there will not be room enough to pass.

[Pg 25] Have you ever noticed the color of little kittens' eyes? They are nearly always blue when the kittens are very little, but turn yellow as they grow older. Their eyes are very different from ours, for they can see in the dark as well as in the daytime.

What soft little cushions they have on their feet! No wonder they can go about so quietly. When they like you, they keep their claws hidden in those cushions, and so they do not scratch when they play with you.

Did you ever watch a cat sharpen her claws? She usually sharpens them on the trunk of a tree, but sometimes she likes to sharpen them on the carpet or rug. Your mamma does not like that. Even little kittens have very sharp teeth and claws, and if you tease them, or they are afraid, they bite and scratch. These little kittens look as if they had never been teased or felt cross, and we would not be a bit afraid to pet them.

Questions to help the pupil understand the picture. Where do you suppose Mr. Adam put these kittens when he wanted to paint them? Why put them in a glass cage? Why have wire over the top? Why do the kittens like to stay in the cage? Which of the kittens has a ribbon around the neck? How does he seem to feel? What does the next kitten seem to be about to do? What color is she? What is the next [Pg 26] little kitten doing? How does a kitten tell us that she is happy? Why does a cat have whiskers? How do a cat's eyes differ from ours? What have cats on their feet that help them to walk quietly? Of what use are their claws? What does a cat do when she is angry? How does she sharpen her claws? What does she do with them if she likes you?

To the Teacher: Allow the children to talk freely of their kittens at home. Have them draw a kitten with charcoal on manila paper. Even if the results are not much in themselves, their powers of observation will be quickened, as is always shown when the same drawing is attempted a few days later.

The story of the artist. We know that Mr. Adam must have been very fond of cats, because he has painted so many pictures of them; but that is all we really do know of him. One authority gives the first letter of his name as S., the dates of his birth and death as 1801 and 1867, and his birthplace, Italy. Another authority gives the same dates but the initial letter J. and the birthplace, France. The paintings are signed T. or J. Adam, but no record has been kept of the artist's life.

Questions about the artist. Who painted this picture? Why do you think he must have liked cats?

[Pg 27]


Original Picture: Pitti Palace, Florence, Italy.

Artist: Raphael Sanzio (rä´´f[+a] ĕl sän´´zyō).

Birthplace: Urbino, Italy.

Dates: Born, 1483; died, 1520.

Questions to arouse interest. Whom do you see in this picture? Who is sitting in the chair? Who leans against the mother's knee? What is he holding under his arm? At whom is he looking? Why do you think he loves the baby? How many have a baby brother at home? What has the mother on her head? Around her shoulders? What makes you think the baby is not sitting very still? Who painted this picture?

The story of the picture. A long time ago a good old man whose name was Bernardo lived all alone in a little house in the woods. If people were lost in the woods, or tired, or hungry, they always came to him and he would help them. It was his work to take care of the trees and see that only the oldest and largest were cut down. But there was one large oak near his house he never would let the men cut. Its branches kept his house cool in summer with their shade, and in the winter they sheltered it from the bitter cold winds. Bernardo, living all alone and with no one to talk to, used to [Pg 28] talk to the tree. And the big oak would nod its branches as if it understood every word.

All the trees belonged to a man who used the wood to make barrels. He made hundreds and hundreds of barrels, and though it took a great many trees to give him wood enough, he always spared the oak tree. Sometimes when this man came out to see about his trees his little daughter Mary came with him. And so Bernardo and little Mary became great friends. In fact, the old man said he had only two friends, the oak to whom he talked and little Mary who talked to him.

One day there was a dreadful storm and Bernardo's little house shook so in the wind that he was afraid to stay in it. He looked at the oak tree, and it seemed to motion to him and tell him to come into its branches, where he would be safe. So he put some bread in his pocket, for he knew the storm would last a long time, and climbed up into the tree. It was a good thing he did so, too, for very soon his house was blown down. Hundreds of birds also hid among the branches of the big tree during the storm, which lasted three days.

The old man wished he had brought more bread to eat, for the ground was covered with water so deep he did not dare leave the tree. Just as he began to think he would starve, [Pg 29] Mary and her father came in search of him and took him to their home. Little Mary had been thinking of him all the time, and just as soon as they could they had come for him. So you see his two friends, Mary and the oak, had saved his life, and Bernardo loved them more than ever. He prayed that in some way his two good friends might always be remembered together.


Madonna of the Chair

[Pg 30] Many years after, Bernardo died. By that time the oak was so old it seemed as if it would fall over and break the other trees near it, or maybe hurt somebody. So it was cut down, and Mary's father had it made into fine new barrels. By this time the little Mary had grown up, was married, and had two fine boys of her own. She was sitting out on the nice big porch of her home one day, holding the baby in her arms, when the older boy came running to her to show her a stick which one of the workmen had carved into a cross. And who should happen to be passing the house at that very moment but the great artist, Raphael.

When he looked up and saw the lovely mother and her children, he thought he had never seen anything so beautiful. He was on his way home after a long walk, and did not even have his paints with him. But he saw the empty barrels in the yard, and choosing one with a nice smooth head, he drew on it, with a piece of charcoal, a picture of Mary and her children. He took the drawing home with him and painted this great picture. So the old man's wish came true, for this barrel end made from the old oak tree, with the picture of Mary and her children upon it, has become famous over all the world.

Such a round-faced, healthy, happy-looking baby, held tight in the loving clasp of his [Pg 31] mother's strong arms! Perhaps he is getting tired of sitting so long for his picture, and wants to go down and see what the artist is doing. His chubby little arms and feet make us think he is not sitting very still. His lovely mother bends her head toward him. Her head is covered with a handkerchief, and there is such a beautiful shawl around her shoulders. The older boy looks with love and adoration at his sweet baby brother, who is looking toward us. What a beautiful old carved chair they must have been sitting in!

The mother's face was so good and kind, and she looked so lovely there on the porch with her children, that she reminded Raphael of that other mother, Mary, the mother of the baby Jesus. The elder brother looked like the little St. John adoring Jesus. So Raphael painted a halo around their heads and called the picture the "Madonna of the Chair." This halo is a ring of light which artists often paint around the heads of angels and saints. Raphael wanted to make us think loving and tender thoughts about the baby Jesus, Mary, and St. John.

Questions to help the pupil understand the picture. Who was Bernardo? Where did he live? What did he do? Why did he not cut down the oak tree near his house? To whom [Pg 32] did he talk? How did the oak tree seem to answer him? Who was Mary? Tell about the storm. How long did it last? Who came in search of Bernardo? Why did he pray that his two friends might be remembered together? What became of the oak tree? of Mary? Who painted her picture? Where was she? On what did the artist paint the picture? why? Why is the picture round? How did this make Bernardo's wish come true? Of whom did Mary and her children make the artist think? Why did he paint the halo around their heads? What is a halo? Why is the picture called the "Madonna of the Chair"? Of whom did the artist want to make us think?

To the Teacher: Have the children retell the story of the picture.

The story of the artist. Raphael's father was a painter, and belonged to a family of painters. Perhaps there never was a more fortunate little boy born to more loving parents. And perhaps that, too, is the reason he grew up with such pleasant ways and such a sweet nature that every one who knew him loved him. It made people happy just to be with him.

Raphael's father taught him how to mix paints, and showed him how to wash and care for his brushes. He gave him his first lessons in drawing and painting. Raphael's mother died when he was only eight years old, but he [Pg 33] had a stepmother who was very good to him indeed, and helped him all she could. A few years later his father died, and so it was through the help of a generous uncle that he was sent to the studio of the great artist, Perugino, to study. The artist-teacher was very fond and very proud of Raphael, whose work soon became even better than his own.

Raphael was never jealous or unkind toward others who did things better than he could do them. And he made those who could not do so well as he feel kindly toward him and be glad of his success. He did all he could to help poor artists, and was never too busy to see them. Whenever he went to court to see the king and queen he was just like a prince in a fairy story. About fifty of these poorer artists and friends always went with him to show everybody how much they loved and admired him. It was just like a parade.

One day the Pope—Pope Julius—sent for him and told him that he wanted him to paint some good pictures on the walls of four of the rooms in his palace, the Vatican. On these walls pictures had been painted which the Pope did not like, and he thought Raphael would know just what to do to make his palace the most beautiful in the world. Raphael worked very hard, for he wanted to please the [Pg 34] Pope. Many of the pictures had to be painted on the ceilings, and he had to lie flat on his back on a large board placed across two ladders. You may be sure he grew very tired.

Some days he took long walks in the country. It was when returning from one of these long walks that he painted the "Madonna of the Chair." He painted over forty Madonnas. This Madonna is seated in a chair, and that is why it is called the "Madonna of the Chair," or "Madonna della Sedia." Most of his paintings are of stories told in the Bible. He painted over two hundred eighty-seven pictures. The artist's last name was Sanzio, but people have always called him by his first name, Raphael.

Questions about the artist. Who painted this picture? What kind of a boy was he? Why did people like him? Who taught him to draw and paint? Who else helped him? What happened when he went to see the king and queen? What did the Pope ask him to do? How did he paint the ceiling? Where did he like to walk? How did he happen to paint this picture? What kind of pictures did he usually paint? How many Madonnas did he paint? How many pictures all together?

[Pg 35]


Artist: Sir Joshua Reynolds (rĕn´´ŭldz).

Birthplace: Plympton, Devonshire, England.

Dates: Born, 1723; died, 1792.

Questions to arouse interest. What is the little girl in this picture doing? Why does she keep such fast hold of the little dog? Where do you think they are? Do you think she looks happy or frightened? why? What has she in her hair? How is she dressed? What makes you think you would like to play with her? What do you think they have been doing? Where have they been playing? Do you like this picture? why?

The story of the picture. How pleased little Miss Bowles must have been when her mamma and papa told her she was to go to the studio of the great Sir Joshua Reynolds to have her picture painted! She must have clapped her hands, for, as every one knew, Sir Joshua Reynolds was the most delightful man in the world. He not only loved children but he always played with them and kept a great many wonderful toys in his studio just for them. Then, too, he had invited her and her mamma and papa to have lunch with him before she sat for her picture.

[Pg 36] Sir Joshua had told her mamma to dress the little girl in the simplest white dress she had, so she could play, and because he did not like fine clothes.

It was a lovely drive from her home to the studio, and the two fine horses held their heads up and stepped very high as if they, too, were glad they were going to Sir Joshua's house. Just as Miss Bowles stepped out of the carriage the cutest little black and white dog came racing down the walk to greet her. Little Miss Bowles was not a bit afraid. How could she be, when the little black and white dog came right up to her and stood wagging his tail? When she had petted him, perhaps he ran to bring a stick for her to throw, so he could find it and bring it back to her, just as your dog does. Sir Joshua heard her laughing and the dog barking as he came out to welcome them.

Almost at once, luncheon was announced and they all went in to the big dining room. Sir Joshua Reynolds sat next to little Miss Bowles and told her all about the little dog, whose name, perhaps, was Spot. A lady whose picture he had painted had given the dog to him, and she had taught Spot several very clever tricks which Miss Bowles should see right after luncheon.

Sir Joshua loved to surprise his little friends. [Pg 37] When they were not looking he would take their handkerchiefs from them, or suddenly put some strange toy in their laps. He loved to see their look of surprise and delight.

Young girl and a dog

Miss Bowles

[Pg 38] After luncheon came a good romp in the yard. Perhaps the little dog would bite Miss Bowles's shoes and try to keep her from running. How she must have laughed!

When she went back into the house Spot went in with her. Little Miss Bowles is so afraid the artist is going to send her pet away that she holds him fast in her arms, and looks at Sir Joshua Reynolds as much as to say, "Now you can't send him away, can you?" Her eyes fairly sparkle with glee as she squeezes the little dog much too hard for his comfort. He knows that she holds him so fast because she wants to keep him, and he is glad to be with her, but oh! if she just would not squeeze quite so hard!

Show me how little Miss Bowles is sitting. I suppose she is afraid to look away even for a second for fear Sir Joshua will play some trick on her and get the little dog away. Sir Joshua painted so very fast that I don't suppose she knew just when he drew her picture, although he probably asked her to sit still when he was ready to paint. But she must have gone to his house several times before the picture was finished. Her father and mother were very much pleased with the picture, and said it looked just like their little girl.

Sir Joshua Reynolds loved the woods and [Pg 39] nature so much that he nearly always painted them in his pictures. So in the background of this picture we catch a glimpse of the woods in the yard where the child and dog have been playing, and where they have just stopped a moment to rest.

Questions to help the pupil understand the picture. Where was this picture painted? Why was little Miss Bowles so glad to go? How did she go? What came to meet her? What color was the dog? How did he act? Who gave the dog to the artist? How did Sir Joshua Reynolds know little Miss Bowles had come? How did he tease her? What did they do after luncheon? Why did she hold the dog so fast? What can you see behind the little girl?

To the Teacher: Let the children illustrate the story of little Miss Bowles playing with her dog in the park. Use charcoal, or colored crayon, on manila paper.

The story of the artist. Sir Joshua Reynolds's father was a teacher in a private school, and to this school Joshua was sent as soon as he was old enough to study. Even when a very little boy Joshua liked to draw. He liked it so well that it was hard for him to study in school. He always saw so many things he wanted to draw that he could not wait until after school, but drew them on the back of his lesson papers. One day he drew all over his number paper, [Pg 40] and when he handed it in his father could not read the numbers on account of the drawing. His father was disappointed because his son's paper did not look so neat as the other boys', and so he wrote at the top of the sheet, "Done by Joshua out of pure idleness."

Joshua had five brothers and sisters who liked to draw just as well as he did, and who could all draw very much better than he could. It took so much paper and so many pencils for all his children, that finally the father told them they might draw on the walls of one of the halls. The walls had been whitewashed and the children used burnt sticks for pencils.

At first the older brothers and sisters used to help little Joshua by guiding his hand, but he soon learned to draw as well as they. His first drawings had been so funny that they laughed at him, but now they praised him instead. When he was only eight years old he drew a picture that every one praised very much. It was a picture of the schoolhouse. When his father saw it he was so pleased that he said, "This is wonderful!"

In the little town where Joshua lived the people had church on Sundays, of course, and sometimes during the week. One day, Joshua went to church. At first he sat very still, but the sermon was a long one, and finally he grew [Pg 41] so tired that he could not listen another minute. He thought he would like to draw a picture of the minister, but he had nothing to draw it on. Then he remembered that he had a pencil in his pocket, and he could draw a picture of the minister on his thumb nail; and that is just what he did.

The church was near the river, and after church Joshua went down to the river bank. Finding a piece of an old sail, he carried it to a boathouse. Here, from the picture on his thumb nail, he drew on the piece of sail the portrait of the minister. Then he painted it, using the common paint that is used in painting boats. Joshua was only eleven years old, and had finished his first oil painting. His father had wanted him to be a doctor, but after seeing this picture he decided to let Joshua have his own way and be a painter. He sent him to a good teacher, and lived to see his son a great artist.

Questions about the artist. Who painted this picture? Where did he go to school? Who taught him? What did he like to do best? On what did he draw? Why was his father disappointed when he saw his number paper? Where were the children allowed to draw? With what did they draw? What did he draw that pleased his father very much? Tell about the picture of the minister.

[Pg 42]


Artist: Elizabeth Gardner Bouguereau (b[=oo]´gẽrō´´).

Birthplace: Exeter, New Hampshire.

Dates: Born, 1842. Still living, 1918.

Questions to arouse interest. What do you see in this picture? In what room do you think they are? Why do you suppose the picture is called "Two Mothers and Their Families"? How many little chickens are there? What time of the year do you think it is? time of day? What is the little boy doing? How many of you like this picture? why?

The story of the picture. This little boy is having a good time feeding the fluffy little chickens. He has scattered some grain on the floor and the old hen and eight of her chicks are eating as fast as they can.

Two of the old hen's chicks must have wandered away, so that at first they did not hear the mother hen's cluck. Now see how they flutter their wings as they hurry back toward the others!

Moms and babies

Two Mothers and Their Families

The old mother hen takes such good care of her little chickens! When it is very cold she will spread out her wings until all the little ones are covered. She keeps them warm and [Pg 43] snug. If it rains, and she cannot get them under shelter, she will protect them with her wings in the pouring rain, much as she dislikes [Pg 44] it. Every day she must scratch for bugs and worms for them and teach them how to scratch for their own living.

She watches carefully to see that nothing harms them. Sometimes big birds, called chicken hawks, fly over the yard ready to swoop down and carry little chickens away in their claws. Then there are other things to be feared, such as weasels and rats; even cats and dogs might harm her little ones. Is it any wonder the mother hen is anxious, and apt to be cross when we go near her little chicks? It is best to be careful, then, for if she thinks you mean to hurt them she will fly at you and hurt you with her sharp bill.

When the artist, Mrs. Elizabeth Gardner Bouguereau, visited this home and saw the mother and her child watching this old hen and her chickens, it is no wonder she wanted to paint them. She wanted to make us feel the love of the mother hen for her little ones as well as that of the other mother for her children.

The child is delighted, as, safe in his mother's arms, he looks around to see if she is watching, too. There is a little baby sister in the cradle, and that is the reason he keeps very quiet and does not speak. No doubt the mother has rocked the baby to sleep. You can see how the baby is fastened in the cradle so she cannot fall [Pg 45] out. That odd-looking top over part of the cradle is placed there to keep the light from the baby's eyes. Just now it is moved a little to one side, and we can see part of the baby's face.

This home probably belongs to a French peasant who goes to his work very early in the morning, or he would be with his family now.

It must be a very hot day in summer, for both mother and child are barefooted and they are dressed for warm weather.

See the pots and pans hanging on the wall under the shelf, and the old kettle hanging over the large open fireplace! The room must be kitchen, bedroom, and dining room all in one; perhaps they have only this one room. There is a basket on the stand, and most likely it is filled with vegetables brought in from the garden for dinner.

What a happy, healthy little boy this is, with his hair in little ringlets all over his head! His half-closed hand makes us think he still has some corn left to scatter on the floor for the chickens.

It seems very strange to see chickens running about in the house. If the mother and child were not dressed so as to keep themselves cool we should think they had let them in because it was too cold for them outside.

[Pg 46] The mother looks as proud of her small son as the mother hen is of her young family. What a pleasant face she has! The old hen does not feel anxious when she is near, for she knows this other mother is kind and will care for her and her fluffy little chicks. The boy, too, seems to be very careful, and the hen is glad to have the grain scattered by his kind little hand.

There is so much bright light in the picture that we are sure there is an open door near by, though we cannot see it in the picture. It was through this open doorway that the mother hen and her chicks strayed into the house. Probably the artist sat in the doorway as she painted.

Questions to help the pupil understand the picture. What is the little boy doing? What makes you think he has just scattered corn for the chickens? How many chickens have found the grain? What are the other two chickens doing? How does the mother hen care for her chickens? What do you see standing beside the mother and child? Who is sleeping in the cradle? What are the straps for? the shade? Why do you think it must have been a hot day? What hangs under the shelf? What do you see on the shelf? What is on the stand? Why is the old hen not afraid of the mother and child? In what way are the two mothers alike? From which direction does the light seem to come?

[Pg 47] The story of the artist. We know very little about the artist, Mrs. Elizabeth Gardner Bouguereau, except that she is an American who has spent most of her life in France. She studied in Paris for many years and was a pupil of the great artist Bouguereau, whom she married. Her pictures have been exhibited many times in this country and abroad. Among her best-known works, besides the "Two Mothers and Their Families," are "Cinderella," "Fortune Teller," "Maud Muller," "Cornelia and Her Jewels," and "Corinne." She has also painted a number of portraits. Many of her pictures are of children. She is still living in Paris, France.

Questions about the artist. Who painted this picture? Where was the artist born? Where did she study and whom did she marry? Where do you think she must have been sitting when she painted the picture? Name two of her best-known pictures.

[Pg 48]


Artist: G. A. Holmes (hōmz).

Birthplace: England.

Dates: Unknown.

Questions to arouse interest. What do you see in this picture? Where are they? Why is the stone floor not too cold for the baby? What time of day do you think it is? why? What do you suppose the baby has been doing? What makes you think the big dog loves the baby? What is the little kitten doing? What do you see on the stone bench? Do you like the picture? why?

The story of the picture. It must have been a warm summer day when this little baby slipped out of her bed, crept across the room to the door, and out on the cool stone porch.

It may have been a Monday morning, when the baby's mamma was very busy in the kitchen, washing the clothes. Probably she put the baby to bed for the usual morning nap, and did not hear her wake up.

It must be about noon, for the shadows are short in the picture. The mother is probably out in the yard, taking her clean clothes off the line, so of course she could not hear the baby creep out through the open door to the porch. [Pg 49] There the baby found the great dog keeping watch. How wise he looks! He knows the baby's mamma would be worried if she knew what her little one is doing, and his kind eyes seem to say, "Never mind, I'll take care of her."

Baby meets the animals

"Can't You Talk?"

Perhaps the baby asks him, "Where's my mamma?" He looks as if he wanted to answer or say something, and she cannot understand why he does not, so she crawls up to him and says, "Can't you talk?" But the big dog can only wag his tail and watch the baby. If she should crawl too far away, we feel sure he would try to persuade her to come back, or if he could [Pg 50] not do that, he would bark and let the mother know something was wrong.

What chubby little hands and feet the baby has! You can almost see the dimples in her cheeks. She is a friendly, happy little child, I'm sure, and you can see that her pets love her. There is the little kitten rubbing up against the door as if waiting to see if the dog will answer baby's question. Kitty seems to be afraid to come out on the porch, although the dog does not look as if he would hurt her. Sometimes little babies with such chubby hands squeeze their pets too hard, and maybe this little kitten, although she loves the baby, does not want to come too near.

There is a stone bench at one side of the porch. It looks as if some one had left a market basket, a cabbage, and a bag on it. Perhaps in the basket are potatoes from the garden.

What a busy life this baby has with so many things to do and so much to learn! She tries so hard to understand. I suppose she thinks, "Good old dog, you seem to know so much more than I do. How does it happen that I can talk and you cannot?"

The mother will be coming in soon, and how surprised she will be to find her baby up and out on the porch, with the big dog taking such good care of her!

[Pg 51] This good old dog does so much to help them! All night long he guards the house, not allowing any one even to stop on the walk in front of the house, without his warning bark. In the daytime, if the people wish to go away, they may be sure the faithful dog will allow no one to enter the house while they are gone. No harm can come to these good people while he is there to help them. You can tell by looking at him that he is well fed and well cared for. That fluffy little kitten, too, just ready to dart back into the house and scamper across the floor, looks happy and contented. Evidently the people who live in this house with its wide stone porch are good and kind. Should you not like to visit them?

Questions to help the pupil understand the picture. How did the baby get out on the porch? Why does she not walk? Where has she been? What time of day is it? Where do you suppose her mother is? What did the baby find on the porch? What does she ask the dog? How can he answer? How does he take care of her? What makes you think her pets love her? Why does the little kitten stay inside? What is on the stone bench? Should you like to visit the people who live in this house? why?

To the Teacher: Encourage the children to talk about their pets at home, and to draw pictures of them.

[Pg 52] The story of the artist. Although Mr. Holmes has painted many very popular pictures of children and their pets, we can find very little information about his life except that he was an Englishman. However, he cannot be forgotten so long as his pictures live to tell us of his little friends and their faithful pets.

Questions about the artist. Who painted this picture? What do his pictures tell us about the artist? In what country was he born?

[Pg 53]


Studying the picture. Several days before the lesson is to be taken up, the picture to be studied should be placed where every pupil can see it.

First of all, the children should find out for themselves what is in the picture. The questions accompanying the story of each picture are intended to help them to do this.

Language work. The pupils should be encouraged in class to talk freely and naturally. In this way the lesson becomes a language exercise in which the pupils will gain in freedom of expression and in the ability to form clear mental images.

If a lesson does not occupy the entire drawing period, the children should be asked to retell the story of the picture.

Dramatization and drawing. Most of the stories told by the pictures lend themselves readily to dramatization and, whenever practicable, such stories should be acted out. The stories also offer numerous interesting situations that may be used as subjects for drawing lessons.

The review lesson. The review lesson should cover all pictures and artists studied throughout the year. At this time other pictures available by the same artists should be on exhibition.

The review work may be conducted as a contest in which the pictures are held up, one at a time, while the class writes the name of the picture and the artist on slips of paper which have been prepared and numbered for that purpose. One teacher who used this device surprised her class by presenting those whose lists were correct with their choice of any of the large-sized Perry pictures studied.

Many teachers, however, will prefer to use this time for composition work, although the description of pictures is often given as an English lesson. Pupils may write a description of [Pg 54] their favorite picture. In fact, the lessons can be made to correlate with history, geography, English, spelling, reading, or nature study.

In any event the real purpose of the work is that the pupils shall become so familiar with the pictures that they will recognize them as old friends whenever and wherever they may see them.

It is hoped that acquaintance with the picture and the interest awakened by its story will grow into a fuller appreciation and understanding of the artist's work. Thus the children will have many happy hours and will learn to love the good, the true, and the beautiful in everything about them.






Stories Pictures Tell by Flora L. Carpenter, Book 1 , Book 2 , Book 3 , Book 4 , Book 5 , Book 6 , Book 7 , Book 8




Hellenica World - Scientific Library