Thursday, October 9, 2014

Taking Italy to Kindergarten: Michelangelo and DaVinci

 Submitted by Linda
Again, I'll just be sharing a glimpse of the beautiful art that we saw at the Vatican (Rome) and in Florence. Trust me when I say you could spend weeks in either of those cities and not see it all. 

When we first arrived in Florence, we drove up to a park above the city for a photo op. I tried out my big long camera lens and I got this pretty shot of Il Duomo di Firenze (the Basilica of Saint Mary).
 Beautiful Florence (which ranks right up there with Venice in terms of charm) is known for fashion and art.  This photo shows the Ponte Vecchio, which is a famous bridge with shops all along the inside.
This photo was taken of a replica of Michelangelo's David, since the actual statue is in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, where pictures are not allowed.
At St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, we were able to see Michelangelo's Pieta (Mary and Jesus), and also the famous and beautiful ceiling of the Sistene Chapel. I loved the portion of the ceiling called "the creation", where God is reaching out to Adam.

I bought the poster shown below while I was there. I genuinely don't want to minimize the incredible art that it is, but in kindergarten the nakedness would have been a huge distraction. So I gave Adam some board shorts so that we could keep our focus on the message of the painting.
I learned while we were there that Michelangelo probably did NOT lay down to paint the chapel, as prior sources reported. According to his drawings of the location, it is believed that he was standing on scaffolding while he painted, because his vision was so poor he needed to be close. Either way, it would be a big challenge to paint on a ceiling that is quite large.

So to simulate the experience, we did some drawing under the tables.
My students thought it was very exciting and fun to be under the tables, but they quickly learned that it is difficult to create a decent product when your canvas is above you. It was also tiring.
 I was not able to see DaVinci's Mona Lisa while I was there, since she is housed at the Louvre in Paris. However, we felt that it was important to introduce our friends to this famous lady whose creator was another of the great Italian artists.
We did a basic 'direct draw', and I was so excited to see how their pictures turned out. In order to prepare for our annual spring trip to the Huntington Art Gallery, our friends learn about line, shape, color, texture, foreground and background. They were able to use many of those concepts in this simple drawing.
Next up....bringing Italian food to kindergarten! Yum!

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