Teaching young children about real famous people, who lived a long time ago, can be challenging. It’s fun, though! Through our Art Studio theme last month, we learned about some major artists and their masterpieces, like this oil painting named Girl with a Pearl Earring. It’s by Dutch artist, Johannes Vermeer, from the 17th century of a European girl.
Girl with a Pearl Earring
With first look at the painting, it’s maybe not so impressive. The colors are kind of drab and not beautiful in the sense I often think of. But after continuing to look at it, we wonder, who is this girl? Why is she important? What is that, that she’s wearing on her head? Oh, I see her earring! It doesn’t really look like a pearl… The more we look at it, the more beautiful it becomes. The painting is an example of portrait painting. I explained that today we have photos taken of us instead of sitting for a portrait painting.
My preschoolers had many questions about this painting:
- Who is she?
- What is she looking at?
- What’s on her head?
- Why is her skin cracked?
Good questions! We don’t know the answers to all of them but we can guess or come up with our own story about her.
Recreating art is an amazing way to learn about art! We took pictures with a scarf and pearl earring (stick on) against a black background to make our own “Girl with a Pearl Earring” photos. They loved this! It was fun to recreate the painting, especially wearing the pearl earring part.
Using simple materials provided in the Art Studio kit, we made art versions of the painting. We used:
- Black paper
- Oval shape face
- Blue paper napkin
- Brown paper bag (cut, colored and crumpled for dress)
- Stick-on pearl for the earring
Such a wonderful and memorable introduction to the world of famous art! We love having our poster of Girl with a Pearl Earring on display and appreciate her more every time we look.
We also discovered Art with Mati & Dada. Here is a video about Vermeer and more specifically about one of his other paintings, The Music Lesson, but we still enjoyed it!