Do you know Vincent?

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Slide 1: Tekstslide
Art and designGeography+1Lower Secondary (Key Stage 3)Primary Education

In deze les zitten 14 slides, met interactieve quizzen en tekstslides.

time-iconLesduur is: 10 min


A short presentation about Vincent van Gogh, for use as an introduction to other lessons about the artist or his work.


General learning objectives: - The students will be introduced to Vincent van Gogh and several of his famous paintings. Materials required: - No special materials required. Background information: Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) is one of just fifty topics included in the official Canon of Dutch History. These days, people from all over the world go to the Van Gogh Museum to see his paintings. In his own day, very few people appreciated his work. Vincent made about 900 paintings but only sold a small number of them. His brother Theo had a good job as an art dealer in Paris and sent money every month for Vincent to live on. In exchange, Vincent sent almost all his paintings and drawings to Theo. He also sent letters – lots of letters. Many of these letters have been preserved, so we know a great deal about Vincent's life and work.

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Slide 1 - Tekstslide

Story: In a moment, I'll show you a picture of a famous Dutch person. If you know who he is, don't say his name yet.

Slide 2 - Tekstslide

Display the picture for about five seconds. Self-Portrait as a Painter, 1887-1888.
Who is this man?
Hans Brinker
Rembrandt van Rijn
Piet Mondrian
Vincent van Gogh

Slide 3 - Quizvraag

Ask the group to answer this quiz question.

Slide 4 - Tekstslide

Now have the students look at the painting more closely. Question: - When a painter makes a portrait of himself, what do you call it? - Do you see any clues in the painting that tell us it was made by Vincent van Gogh? > Vincent's signature – he signed his name on the painting.

Slide 5 - Tekstslide

Question: - What painting materials do you see? > Brushes, a palette with paint, jars for oil and turpentine, an easel, and a canvas - We see the back of the canvas on which Vincent is painting. What do you think he might be painting? > His self-portrait!
How long do you think Vincent worked as an artist?
5 years
10 years
15 years
20 years

Slide 6 - Quizvraag

Ask the group to answer this quiz question. Depending on the group, you may wish to talk about other things that happened around these dates: Vincent was born on 30 March 1853 and died on 29 July 1890. He decided to become an artist in 1880.

Slide 7 - Tekstslide

Story: This is a very famous painting that Vincent made in the Netherlands. It's called The Potato Eaters. Can you see that Vincent mostly used dark colours? By this time he had been painting for five years, but not many people liked his work... The Potato Eaters, 1885

Slide 8 - Tekstslide

Story: Vincent's brother Theo lived in Paris, France. When Vincent went to live with Theo for a while, he noticed that French painters had a very different style from his. For one thing, they used a lot more colour. Vincent learned a lot from that experience and started to make his own paintings more colourful. Boulevard de Clichy, 1887

Slide 9 - Tekstslide

Story: After Vincent left Paris, he went to live in the south of France, in the city of Arles. There he rented a yellow house with green shutters. His brother Theo supported him. He gave Vincent enough money to live in the yellow house, buy food, and spend his time painting. The Yellow House, 1888

Slide 10 - Tekstslide

Story: In the yellow house, Vincent made a couple of paintings that may be his most famous works. They show vases of sunflowers. But in Vincent's day, not many people appreciated his work. Sunflowers, 1889

Slide 11 - Tekstslide

Story: There is a famous story about Vincent's time in southern France: the story of his ear. Maybe you've heard it before. One day, Vincent was so upset and confused that he cut off part of his left ear. Because he was going through a hard time, he was sent for treatment in an asylum – a hospital for patients with mental illnesses. He stayed there for a year. Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, 1889 © The Courtauld Gallery, London

Slide 12 - Tekstslide

Story: After Vincent started to feel a bit better, he went to live in a small village near Paris. There he went on walks through the fields, like the wheatfield in this famous painting. But Vincent still found life difficult. One summer day in July, he decided that he wanted to end his life. He was thirty-seven years old, and he never knew that one day he would be world-famous. Wheatfield with crows, 1890
How many paintings do you think Vincent made in total?


Slide 13 - Quizvraag

Remind the group of Vincent's short career as an artist (ten years) and have them answer the quiz question. When you reveal the right answer, you can add that Vincent made more than 1,000 drawings in that same period. Then you can go on to a lesson on a special topic in Vincent's life or work.

Slide 14 - Tekstslide

Self-Portrait as a Painter, 1887-1888.