Copying is allowed!
Lesson by Van Gogh Museum
This lesson contains 23 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 1 video.
General Learning Objectives
- Pupils get to know the work of Vincent van Gogh.
- Pupils combine elements from various Japanese prints in a new work of their own.
- Content of lesson and watching video: c. 20 minutes.
- Practical exercise: c. 20 minutes, depending on material chosen.
- Decide what materials to work with (see “materials required” and “alternatives”) and lay them out before beginning the lesson.
- Computer, iPad or mobile phone with sound.
- Thick A3 drawing paper
- Pencils, erasers and rulers
- Dip pens and Indian ink, or fineliners
- Colouring pencils or felt pens
1. Use oil pastels and poster paint or acrylic (with thin brushes) instead of colouring pencils or felt pens. Don’t use fineliners for the line work if painting.
2. Lay the emphasis on the “composition” of new work from parts of various examples and ask the children to make a collage with scissors, glue and old magazines.
3. Ask the pupils to combine other examples from art history, from a single artist or a mix of several.
Vincent van Gogh admired the lines, colour planes and cropping used by Japanese artists in their figurative work, landscapes and city views. They were different from the European art he was used to, and from anything he had made himself. Vincent studied Japanese prints and then made his own versions of them. He did this very carefully, using, for example, the grid method to scale the images up onto canvas. (For more on this, see the lesson Vincent XL.)
Copying is allowed!
Here you see the example Vincent used for his painting. It’s the cover of a French magazine, Paris Illustré, from 1886.
It features an image of the work of Japanese artist, Keisai Eisen.
Look again carefully at these two works.
List the similarities and differences in the next slide.
Vincent didn’t just look at the magazine for Courtesan. He also looked at other Japanese prints.
He wrote, “Theo and I have hundreds of these Japanese prints”.
Can you see what Vincent has borrowed from these prints in his Courtesan?
Vincent made other “Japanese” paintings as well as Courtesan, such as Bridge in the rain.
Click on the hotspot to see the print he used for it.
Vincent also used a print by Japanese artist, Utagawa Hiroshige, as his inspiration for Flowering Plum Orchard.
Click on the hotspot to see the print.
Choose at least one of the
Japanese prints on the next two slides. Make your own drawing based on what
you’ve chosen. Use at least two things that Vincent learned from Japanese
prints in your drawing.
Draw a central panel first, just like the Japanese artists, and a border around the edge, where you could put characters. Click on the hotspot for an example of the layout.