Reflections inspired by Leonardo da Vinci

16 maio de 2019

Katy Chase



3 museu

Early in April, students from the Infantil program had the fantastic opportunity to visit the school museum inspired by genius, and school namesake, Leonardo da Vinci. Bilingual Coordinator Dora Sodre led the children around the museum explaining the details and importance of his many works during the time of the Italian Renaissance. The students learned about such famous works as the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, the Vitruvian Man and his priceless self-portrait.


In 1512, Leonardo created his incredible and only self-portrait using just brown paper and red chalk. Many art historians are amazed at how much life and detail could be portrayed despite using only chalk as his medium. There are many debates as to whether he drew the portrait as he was at that time or if he drew as he imagined he would be when he was older. To this day, Leonardo’s self-portrait remains a priceless mystery and the inspiration of our first art project in First Grade.

In order to begin our self-portrait, we needed to create the perfect paper. Many students were quick to observe that Leonardo’s portrait was 500 years old and thus had yellowed and stained. To recreate the antiqued appearance each student crumpled and dipped their paper in tea. We allowed the paper to dry overnight and when we came back to school the next day each student found that their paper had dried as if it was hundreds of years old.



The next step in our art project was creating their own self-portraits. Each student was given, in addition to their paper, one brown pencil and a mirror. We observed what made Leonardo’s portrait special and talked about how their art should feature only their heads and shoulders. Each student took care to observe every freckle, the shape of their eyes, nose and lips and the length of their hair. The results were fantastic! Most of the class could identify who each self-portrait belonged to without knowing who drew it.




Once their portrait was completed, each student had the opportunity to glue their art to a black background and sign their signature!



We think their work is wonderful! See below for some excellent first grade self-portraits.





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