Spot the difference: The Yellow House (1)

We look at things every day – but taking a careful look is not nearly as easy as it seems.
1 / 21
next
Slide 1: Slide
Art and designLower Secondary Education (GCSE)

This lesson contains 21 slides, with text slides.

time-iconLesson duration is: 15 min

Introduction

Students will look at Vincent van Gogh's painting The Yellow House and try to spot five differences between different versions. Set 1.

Instructions

General learning objectives
- Students will learn about Vincent van Gogh and one of his most famous paintings.
- By looking closely at details, they will discover what makes five modified versions of The Yellow House different from the original.

Preparation
-

Materials required
None

Optional variations
1. Have the students work individually or in pairs. For each modified version, they can write down what they think is the difference from the original. Afterwards, you can see who has the most correct answers.
2. Extend the lesson with 'Spot the difference: The Yellow House (2)'.
3. After looking at the last modified version, discuss whether the differences influenced the atmosphere of the painting. Which difference made the painting seem very different? And is it really acceptable to change a work of art, making it different from the artist's original idea or creation?

Background information
In 1888, Vincent van Gogh rented a house in the southern French city of Arles, in a square called Place Lamartine. He captured this location in his painting The Yellow House (The Street). In the Yellow House, he painted famous works of art such as The Bedroom and Sunflowers.

Items in this lesson

We look at things every day – but taking a careful look is not nearly as easy as it seems.

Slide 1 - Slide

This item has no instructions

Artist Vincent van Gogh
Title The Yellow House ('The street')
Date June 1888
Location Arles, France
Collection Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Slide 2 - Slide

Briefly tell the class something about the painting The Yellow House and the artist, or ask them what they think of it.


How closely do you look at art?

Slide 3 - Slide

This item has no instructions

What radiating lines in this painting help to create perspective? Draw them in.
For example, if you imagine a horizontal and a vertical line through the centre, dividing the painting into four equal parts, you can see that the main subject is right in the middle: Vincent's house.
When you look at a painting, try to take time to look at every single part. Then you'll notice more and more details.

Slide 4 - Slide

Radiating lines that create perspective in this painting include, for instance, the edges of the curbs, the roofs and the heaped sand.
Take about 30 seconds to look as closely as you can at the painting. What details do you notice?
timer
0:30

Slide 5 - Slide

Have the students list a number of details of the painting. Then explain the assignment: After (a certain number of) seconds, the picture will disappear from the board. When it reappears, one detail will be different. Tell the class how you will discuss the differences.
Did you look closely?
 Spot the differences:
And of course, you may not see the differences right away. Even the experts who work at the Van Gogh Museum sometimes take quite a while to find them...

Slide 6 - Slide

This item has no instructions

timer
0:15

Slide 7 - Slide

To prevent confusion, every modified version is marked with the words,
'What is wrong with this painting?'

Answer: On the ground floor of Vincent's house, the window on the right should be a door.

Slide 8 - Slide

After every modified version, the original painting is shown again on the board. This will make it clear what was different about the previous version. It also allows the class to take another look at the original in preparation for the next version.
Did you look closely?
Spot the differences:

Slide 9 - Slide

This item has no instructions

timer
0:15

Slide 10 - Slide

The child walking to the left of the two women is to their right in Vincent's painting.

Slide 11 - Slide

This item has no instructions

Did you look closely?
Spot the differences:

Slide 12 - Slide

This item has no instructions

timer
0:15

Slide 13 - Slide

At the end of the row of houses, near the railway bridge, one small house is missing.

Slide 14 - Slide

This item has no instructions

Did you look closely?
Spot the differences:

Slide 15 - Slide

This item has no instructions

timer
0:15

Slide 16 - Slide

Answer: The man walking by Vincent's house is going in the wrong direction.

Slide 17 - Slide

This item has no instructions

Did you look closely?
Spot the differences:

Slide 18 - Slide

This item has no instructions

timer
0:15

Slide 19 - Slide

Answer: One of the two chimneys is missing from the large house behind Vincent's house.

Slide 20 - Slide

Afterwards, discuss the assignment briefly. Was it easy or difficult? Which difference was the hardest one to find? Did the differences make the painting completely different, or did they not really matter very much?



Look at The Yellow House in
detail.


Slide 21 - Slide

The link leads directly to the page for The Yellow House on the website of the Van Gogh Museum.