Picture Study

Choose three artists to study: one per term during the year. You can either select artists who correspond to your history time period or choose somewhat diverse styles and time periods so the artists won’t become confused in the children’s minds. Our Picture Study Portfolios make it simple to get to know these new friends!


Ancient art does not center around individual artists, but it can be seen in artifacts and architecture from those time periods. The Stuff They Left Behind portfolios highlight ancient artifacts and architecture.

1200s to 1300s: Medieval


1300s to 1500s: Renaissance

Jan van Eyck
Fra Angelico
Leonardo da Vinci
Pieter Bruegel the Elder

1600s to 1700s: Baroque

Diego Velazquez
Jan Vermeer
Thomas Gainsborough

1800s to 1900s: Modern

Joseph M. W. Turner
John Constable
John James Audubon
Jean Francois Millet
Edouard Manet
James Whistler
Edgar Degas
Winslow Homer
Paul Cezanne
Claude Monet
Pierre Auguste Renoir
Mary Cassatt
Vincent van Gogh
John Singer Sargent
Georges Seurat
Grandma Moses
Frederic Remington
Maxfield Parrish
Pablo Picasso
N. C. Wyeth
Georgia O’Keeffe
M. C. Escher
Norman Rockwell
Ansel Adams (photographer)
Wolf Kahn
P. Buckley Moss
Frans Lanting (photographer)
Thomas Kinkade

Notes on Picture Study

Art appreciation was one part of Charlotte’s “spreading the feast” before her students; and her method, as always, was gentle and inviting.

Display a picture and mention the artist who created it. Have children look at the picture until they can see it clearly in their minds’ eye. When all children are ready, turn the picture over or close the book and ask them to describe the picture. When their narration is finished, display the picture again and notice together any new aspects. Summarize any accompanying information if desired, but be careful not to interfere with each child’s forming his own relationship with the artist’s work. This study is not a lesson in art criticism. Display the picture in a prominent location in your home so the children can look at it throughout the week.

Continue to study works by the same artist for several weeks until the children become familiar with that artist’s style. If possible, read a short biography about that artist sometime during your study of his or her work.

Be on the alert for any artist’s inappropriate pictures and omit them from your study. There are plenty of beautiful appropriate works.

We have included in the list some modern photographers whose work is respected and unique.

Be sure to add your artists to your Book of Centuries as you study their works.

Search the CM Bookfinder for resource suggestions on any artist of your choice.

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