Look for answers to the guiding questions provided below. If appropriate for your grade level, have your students engage in
this process as much as possible. From your research, provide students with the most relevant articles and ask them to respond to the following questions. Students can be grouped into research teams (artist, artwork, and historical context).
About the Artist
• When did the artist live?
• Where did he/she work most of the time?
• What about the artist’s life experiences might have influenced or inspired him/her to make the work of art?
• What was happening in the artist’s life when he/she made the work?
• Where was he/she?
• What is the artist known for (what subjects or processes for example)?
• What was he/she most interested in exploring as an artist?
• Are there quotes from the artist that help explain this?
About the Artwork
• What does the work depict or represent?
• What is the subject?
• What visual strategies did the artist use to get his/her ideas across?
• Did the artist write about the work?
• Is he/she quoted as saying anything about it?
• What did critics or art historians say about it (add relevant quotes)?
• In what ways is the work a reflection of society or a product of its time?
• Was the artwork made for or commissioned by somebody?
• Why does the artwork look the way it does?
• What expectations was the artist responding to?
About the Historical Context
• Around the time the artwork was made, what was happening in history, society, and politics that the artist was probably responding to?
• Are there primary source documents that shed light on the question above?
• If so, include excerpts from them.