Art History Outings at the VMFA: Medieval Art

This month we will be looking at Medieval European art. Much of this are deals with biblical themes and we will be looking at depictions of saints as well as some utilitarian items with decorative scenes.

The printable is a bingo style scavenger hunt. We will meet at ten and I will provide stickers to use in filling out the handout. Some of the clues will be fairly obvious but most will require looking at details of the art or reading the case labels. You may want to have your children work in teams, pairing a reader with a non-reader.

Things to look for:

What kinds of objects are people holding? Frequently people/saints in medieval art are identified by symbol. St. Peter (for example) is often shown with keys.

How do the artists handle perspective? Do their people look flat or dimensional? How do they show that one person or object in a painting is farther away than another?

Look at the clothing? Does it look medieval to you? Most artists painted biblical characters in clothing from the artist’s own time. Do you see any paintings where the artist has tried to make the clothing look ancient or classical?

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