Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife

Jan Van Eyck, b. before 1395 – d. 1441
Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife, 1434, Oil on oak, 82 x 60 cm, National Gallery, London https://www.thehistoryofart.org/jan-van-eyck/arnolfini-wedding/

When the time comes for me to introduce my students to Jan van Eyck’s Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife,  I start with his flamboyant signature, Johannes de Eyck fuit hic. 1434 – Jan van Eyck was here. 1434, inscribed immediately above the mirror on the portrait’s background wall. Unpretentious words… but how artfully do they draw attention to his extraordinary skills as a painter and a storyteller! https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/jan-van-eyck-portrait-of-a-man-self-portrait

Jan Van Eyck, b. before 1395 – d. 1441
Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife (detail of inscription), 1434, Oil on oak, 82 x 60 cm, National Gallery, London
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Arnolfini_Portrait,_d%C3%A9tail_(6).jpg

Then, I am in trouble… I look at my students and I am flooded with questions, I do not have the precise answers. Is this exactly the reason why the Arnolfini Portrait is so attractive? How do I proceed?

“Jan van Eyck is credited with originating a style of painting characterized by minutely realistic depictions of surface effects and natural light. This was made possible by using an oil medium, which allowed the building up of paint in translucent layers, or glazes.” These two sentences by the National Gallery in London embody the essence of van Eyck’s painting style and technique. I like to read them to my students emphasizing his contribution to Western European Art. Information about his training and his life is scarce, we do know, however, that he was a member of the gentry class and that by 1425 he lived at Bruges and Lille as a court painter to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. We also know that in 1428 he traveled to Portugal to paint Philip the Good’s future wife, Isabella of Portugal.     https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/artists/jan-van-eyck

I still hesitate… and start with the background, the decorative details, the room itself! Easier to say than do…

Jan Van Eyck, b. before 1395 – d. 1441
Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife (upper half), 1434, Oil on oak, 82 x 60 cm, National Gallery, London https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/the-arnolfini-portrait/

First impressions… This seems to be a luxurious room in a house of brick, lit up by a window that opens onto a garden with a cherry tree, glimpsed through the open shutters. Colourful light comes in through the glass window at the top, with clear bulls-eye pieces set in blue, red, and green stained glass. What an amazing display of wealth and “hidden symbolisms”…  

Let’s start with the impressive, bronze chandelier, that has one lit candle, which represents the seeing eye of God. Consider the mirror, decorated with scenes from the Passion of Christ, unblemished so as to symbolize the piety of Mary, the Mother of God. The wooden sandals… could they imply a “sacred” ground, or are they another evidence of incredible wealth? Could the small dog between the couple symbolize marital fidelity? Last but not least… the figure of St. Margaret carved on the finial of the big chair by the bed is the patron saint of pregnancy and childbirth, while the cherry tree painted outside the window is a symbol of love! https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/jan-van-eyck-the-arnolfini-portrait and https://www.artstor.org/2017/06/06/the-many-questions-surrounding-jan-van-eycks-arnolfini-portrait/

Jan Van Eyck, b. before 1395 – d. 1441
Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife (details of the dog and St. Margaret), 1434, Oil on oak, 82 x 60 cm, National Gallery, London
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnolfini_Portrait#/media/File:Jan_van_Eyck_009.jpg
https://oeuvremagazinecom.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/the-symbolic-meaning-of-the-arnolfini-wedding/

The Arnolfini room is full of smaller or bigger luxuries. The bed, for example, covered with expensive red woolen cloth dominates the scene along with ornately carved furniture, covered with red cushions and fabric. An intricately woven Oriental rug on the floor, oranges by the window, and beautiful rosary beads hanging next to the mirror… are all signifiers of great wealth in 15th century Belgium. https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/jan-van-eyck-the-arnolfini-portrait and https://www.artstor.org/2017/06/06/the-many-questions-surrounding-jan-van-eycks-arnolfini-portrait/

The difficult questions must be addressed… Who are the people in this luxurious, very personal setting? So many questions… and so many diverse answers!

Jan Van Eyck, b. before 1395 – d. 1441
Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife (portraits), 1434, Oil on oak, 82 x 60 cm, National Gallery, London
https://www.artble.com/imgs/b/9/e/222687/249875.jpg and https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/the-arnolfini-portrait/

They are clearly, according to the National Gallery in London, husband, and wife, and for many years the painting was understood as representing a marriage ceremony, though not anymore. From early on the painting was identified as showing one ‘Hernoul le Fin’ or ‘Arnoult Fin’. The most likely candidate is Giovanni di Nicolao di Arnolfini, known as Giannino or Jehannin, who would have been in his late thirties in 1434. The lady is probably his second wife, whose identity is unknown. The large round mirror that hangs right in the centre of the composition is stunning! Its convex glass shows not just the compressed and contorted room but also two men coming in through a door behind us. Immediately above the mirror is the flamboyant signature: Johannes de Eyck fuit hic. 1434 (‘Jan van Eyck was here. 1434’). Are the two men in the mirror Jan van Eyck, in a red turban, and his servant, arriving on a visit? https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/jan-van-eyck-the-arnolfini-portrait

Jan Van Eyck, b. before 1395 – d. 1441
Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife (detail of mirror), 1434, Oil on oak, 82 x 60 cm, National Gallery, London
https://el.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CE%91%CF%81%CF%87%CE%B5%CE%AF%CE%BF:The_Arnolfini_Portrait,_d%C3%A9tail_%282%29.jpg

So many questions…

For a Student WRAP Activity on the Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife, please… Check HERE!

An informative Video (3:59 min) presentation of the Arnolfini Portrait prepared by the National Gallery in London… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM6d9BOj4Ww

If you want to explore the Bibliography on the Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife… start with: Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, by Erwin Panofsky, The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, Vol. 64, No. 372 (Mar. 1934), pp. 117-119+122-127 (9 pages) https://www.jstor.org/stable/865802

The Sarcophagus of the Muses in the Louvre

Sarcophagus of the Muses, c. 150-160 AD, Pentelic Marble, 0.92×2.06 m, the Louvre Museum, Paris, France
https://twitter.com/MuseeLouvre/status/1254455247449317379/photo/1

[36] Come thou, let us begin with the Muses who gladden the great spirit of their father Zeus in Olympus with their songs, telling of things that are and that shall be and that were aforetime with consenting voice. Unwearying flows the sweet sound from their lips, and the house of their father Zeus the loud-thunderer is glad at the lily-like voice of the goddesses as it spread abroad, and the peaks of snowy Olympus resound, and the homes of the immortals. And they uttering their immortal voice, celebrate in song first of all the reverend race of the gods from the beginning, those whom Earth and wide Heaven begot, and the gods sprung of these, givers of good things. Then, next, the goddesses sing of Zeus, the father of gods and men, as they begin and end their strain, how much he is the most excellent among the gods and supreme in power. And again, they chant the race of men and strong giants, and gladden the heart of Zeus within Olympus, — the Olympian Muses, daughters of Zeus the aegis-holder… Writes Hesiod in his Theogony, describing the Muses… the lovely goddesses who dance and sing and inspire poets like Homer, Virgil, Dante, John Milton, and William Blake… Can The Sarcophagus of the Muses in the Louvre help us learn more about them? https://www.theoi.com/Text/HesiodTheogony.html

It does, indeed! According to the Louvre experts… Created around the mid-second century BC, this sarcophagus was probably made for a cultivated Roman anxious to demonstrate his attachment to Greek culture, with models drawn from Greek art. The composition of the frieze, the neutral background and the retrained attitude of the Muses all evoke the classical art of the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. This impression is sustained by the very discreet employment of the drill and the rounded forms of the carefully polished surfaces. The elongated figures of the young women and their almost statuesque appearance, suggested by the depth of the relief, also recall Hellenistic art. Furthermore, each Muse is clearly identified by her attributes and demeanour… https://collections.louvre.fr/en/ark:/53355/cl010278285

Sarcophagus of the Muses, c. 150-160 AD, Pentelic Marble, 0.92×2.06 m, the Louvre Museum, Paris, France
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Muses_sarcophagus_Louvre_MR880.jpg

Let’s Identify them, starting from left to right…

Kalliope… According to Hesiod, Kalliope was the oldest of the nine Muses, the wisest, and the most assertive. As for the Roman poet Ovid, she was the Chief of all Muses! Orpheus was her son and poets since antiquity called upon her for inspiration! Kalliope is the Muse of Epic Poetry, Music, Song, Dance, and Eloquence. Her attribute is the Wax Tablet or the Scroll. Her name means beautiful-voiced.

Thalia… like all nine Muses, was the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Goddess of Memory) and the mother of the Corybantes, the warrior dancers who worshipped goddess Cybele with drumming and dancing. Thalia is the Muse of Comedy and Bucolic Poetry. Among her attributes are the Comic mask, an ivy wreath, and the shepherd’s staff. She is the joyous, flourishing Muse.

Terpsichore… whose name means Delight in Dancing, is fittingly considered the Muse of Dance. Interestingly she is usually, not in the case of the Louvre Sarcophagus, depicted sitting down, holding a lyre, accompanying the dancers’ choirs with her music. Terpsichore was the mother of the dangerous Sirens, who lured sailors with their music and singing voices to shipwreck and death! Her attribute is the lyre.


Euterpe… the Giver of Delight, was, according to ancient Greek poets, the Goddess of Lyric Poetry. Along with her sisters, she entertained the Gods and Goddesses at Mount Olympus, but she also loved to wander around Mount Helicon and Mount Parnassus. Euterpe is credited as the inventor of the Aulos, an ancient Greek wind instrument, often translated as Flute or Double-Flute. The Aulos is her attribute.

  Polyhymnia… Muse of the sacred Poetry, is the most serious looking of all Muses. Often depicted pensive, and meditative, like in the case of the Louvre Sarcophagus, Polyhymnia, whose name means Praise, is often covered in a veil which is her attribute as well. Diodorus Siculus wrote that Polyhymnia, because by her great (polle) praises (humnesis) she brings distinction to writers whose works have won for them immortal fame…

Clio… whose name derives from the Greek root κλέω/κλείω, meaning to make famous or to celebrate. is the Muse of History. She is often presented holding an open scroll or seated beside a chest of books, which are her attributes as well.

Erato… is the Muse of erotic poetry, and mimic imitation. Her name, etymologically, shares the same root as Eros, the god of love! Erato is usually depicted holding her attribute, the Lyre or a Kithara, and she is adorned with a wreath of myrtle and roses!

Sarcophagus of the Muses (Urania and Melpomene), c. 150-160 AD, Pentelic Marble, 0.92×2.06 m, the Louvre Museum, Paris, France
https://mobile.twitter.com/archaeologyart/status/1448317781582172165/photo/1

Urania… the heavenly Muse of Astronomy, is often depicted wearing a cloak covered in stars, looking upwards toward the sky. In the case of the Louvre Sarcophagus, Urania is portrayed as pensive, looking downwards, pointing to the celestial Globe with a staff. In Orphic Hymn 76 to the Muses Urania is beautifully described as heavenly bright.

Melpomene… is the Melodious Muse of Tragic Poetry, the Muse who celebrates with dance and song. Melpomene is often depicted with her attributes… carrying a sword or a dagger, holding the tragic mask, and wearing cothurnus boots which were worn by tragic actors.

For a PowerPoint on The Sarcophagus of the Muses in the Louvre, please… Click HERE!

Interesting information on the 9 Muses can be found… https://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Mousai.html and https://www.thoughtco.com/the-greek-muses-119788 and https://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/The_Muses/the_muses.html and https://pantheon.org/articles/m/muse.html  

Camille Pissarro Flower Arrangements

Camille Pissarro, French Artist, 1830–1903
Pink Peonies, 1873, Oil  on Canvas, 73 x 60 cm, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK
https://www.wikiart.org/en/camille-pissarro/pink-peonies-1873

The flower that smiles to-day / To-morrow dies; / All that we wish to stay / Tempts and then flies. / What is this world’s delight? / Lightning that mocks the night, / Brief even as bright.    /    Virtue, how frail it is! / Friendship how rare! / Love, how it sells poor bliss / For proud despair! / But we, though soon they fall, / Survive their joy, and all / Which ours we call.    /    Whilst skies are blue and bright, / Whilst flowers are gay, / Whilst eyes that change ere night / Make glad the day; / Whilst yet the calm hours creep, / Dream thou—and from thy sleep / Then wake to weep. Everything is ephemeral and transitory for Percy Shelley like bouquets of flowers… like Camille Pissarro Flower Arrangements! Could this be the reason why the artist painted so few Still Life Paintings of Flowers? Was he afraid of all hopes, desires, and delights the world has to offer are short-lived and doomed to fade away? https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45133/mutability-the-flower-that-smiles-to-day and https://interestingliterature.com/2017/07/10-of-the-best-poems-about-flowers/

Camille Pissarro was the only painter to exhibit in all eight Impressionist exhibitions organized between 1874 and 1886. He became a pivotal artist and mentor within the movement, and he is best known for his landscapes and his images of the day-to-day life of French peasants. https://www.theartstory.org/artist/pissarro-camille/life-and-legacy/#biography_header

Camille Pissarro, French Artist, 1830–1903
Self-Portrait with Hat, 1903, Oil on Canvas, 41×33 cm, Tate Britain, UK
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Camille_Pissarro_-_Self-portrait2_-_Tate_Britain.jpg

Jacob Abraham Camille Pissarro was born and raised in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, then the Danish West Indies. His parents were merchants of modest means, but in 1842, young Pissarro was sent away to a boarding school in Passy near Paris, France, where he was introduced to the arts and encouraged to draw directly from nature and to use direct observation in his drawings, empirically rendering each object in its truest form. Pissarro returned to St. Thomas to immerse himself in the family business; however, he got quickly tired of mercantile pursuits and upon meeting the Danish painter Fritz Melbye, in the early 1850s, he abandoned the family business, following his Dutch friend to Caracas, Venezuela, and committing himself to becoming a painter. https://www.theartstory.org/artist/pissarro-camille/life-and-legacy/#biography_header

Camille Pissarro, French Artist, 1830–1903
Tropical Landscape with Farmhouses and Palm Trees, 1856, Oil on Cardboard, 24.8×32.7 cm, National Art Gallery, Caracas, Venezuela
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Camille_Pissarro_-_Paisaje_tropical.jpg

By 1855, Pissarro had returned to Paris, where he was exposed to the artwork of Eugène Delacroix, and Realist landscapists like Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet, and Jean-François Millet. Largely if not entirely self-taught at the time, Pissarro started taking classes at the Academie Suisse in 1859 where he met Cézanne, one of his closest lifelong friends. In 1861, Pissarro registered as a copyist at the Musée du Louvre, and around this same time, he met Julie Vellay, the daughter of a vineyard owner in the Burgundy region. He got married in London in 1871 and became the caring father of eight children. https://www.theartstory.org/artist/pissarro-camille/life-and-legacy/#biography_header

Pissarro began submitting to the Salon in the late 1860s with landscape paintings reflecting his profound knowledge of and exposure to the compositional techniques of the eighteenth-century French masters. However, spending time and painting en plein air in Louveciennes, an area much favoured by the Impressionists, Pissarro’s style gradually changed. He focused on light effects and atmospheric conditions created by the change of the seasons developing a pure, mature Impressionist style. As he grew older, he worked hard to keep his art avant-garde and relevant by testing new theoretical concepts like the Pointillist technique. https://www.theartstory.org/artist/pissarro-camille/life-and-legacy/#biography_header

Camille Pissarro, French Artist, 1830–1903
Medley of Still Life Paintings of Flowers

In 2005, at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Exhibition “Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro, 1865–1885” placed Camille Pissarro, the artist pretty much behind every art movement of the 19th century, in the same league as Paul Cézanne, the artist whose art will define the 20th century. Pissarro’s landscapes are indisputably important… but, I like to focus on Pissarro’s few Still Life paintings… discover his modernist approach, notice his ability to manipulate colour for a “truer” visual image, and relish at his direct, unadorned approach to his subject matter.

Paul Cézanne (left) and Camille Pissarro (right) at Auvers-sur-Oise, Private Collection, by an Anonymous Photographer https://newcriterion.com/issues/2005/9/cezanne-pissarro-a-crucial-friendship and http://art-cezanne.com/photography_cezanne/1874%20Paul-Cezanne%20&%20Camille%20Pissarro%20in%20%20Auver.jpg

To end this short presentation I will quote Paul Cézanne, who three years after Pissarro’s death, identified himself in a retrospective exhibition, as “Paul Cézanne, pupil of Pissarro.” https://www.theartstory.org/artist/pissarro-camille/life-and-legacy/#biography_header and https://www.haberarts.com/cezannep.htm

When I teach Impressionism… I like to stress how important Pissarro’s Still Life paintings of Flowers are! I use Visual Learning Strategy Questions to help my students reflect upon their significance, and experience a process of enduring understanding!

For a PowerPoint of Camille Pissarro’s paintings of Flowers, please… Check HERE!

Joseph Karl Stieler’s Portrait of Katerina “Rosa” Botsaris

Joseph Karl Stieler, German Painter,1781–1858   
Katerina “Rosa” Botsaris, 1841, oil on canvas, 72,4 x 59 cm, Gallery of Beauties, Schönheiten-Galerie König Ludwig I, Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Portr%C3%A4t_von_Katharina_Botzaris.jpg

The diarist Christiane Lüth (1817–1900), whose husband was appointed personal chaplain to Queen Amalia of Greece wrote about Katerina “Rosa” Botsaris in her diaries: Of the two young ladies-in-waiting, Miss von Wiesenthau was not very well mannered, Catholic and not very pretty, although she talked constantly. The Greek, very beautiful Rosa Botzaris was not agreeable, but stingy and hated everything German. She was poor, but the glory which surrounded the name of her father, the freedom hero, Marko Botzaris, shone its light over her. When she travelled with the Queen, she was much celebrated for her beauty, which was highlighted by her national costume. She hid the fact that she understood the German language and spread dangerous political comments around her which much damaged Their Majesties, her benefactors. It is obvious Christiane Lüth did not like much, either of Queen Amalia’s Ladies in Waiting, but Rosa’s beauty is undisputed, and Joseph Karl Stieler’s Portrait of Katerina “Rosa” Botsaris is an excellent testimony! https://www.kathryngauci.com/blog-105-25-3-2021-a-literary-world-katerina-rosa-botsaris/

Between 1827 and 1850 Joseph Karl Stieler, court painter of Bavaria, was commissioned by King Ludwig I to create 36 portraits of the most beautiful women from the nobility and middle classes of Munich, Germany. These portraits were to decorate the south pavilion of Ludwig’s Nymphenburg Summer Palace. Among these very popular portraits was that of a Greek lady, Katerina “Rosa” Botsaris, the daughter of Markos Botsaris, the hero of the 1821 Greek Revolution. https://arrayedingold.blogspot.com/2011/11/gallery-of-beauties.html

Katerina’s life was not easy. Born to the prominent Souliot Botsaris family, Katerina was the daughter of Chrysoula Kalogirou and Markos Botsaris, the famed, and revered leader of the Greek War of Independence, who died on the night of August the 8th, 1823, at Kefalobryso in Karpeisi, while with 450 Souliotes, ambushed the enemy camp of Mustafa Pasha of Shkoder (modern northern Albania) inflicting serious casualties. At the time, a child of 5 or 3 years old, Katerina Botsaris lived the life of a “hostage” in the city of Drama, at the harem of Dramali Mahmud Pasha, under the protection of upper-class Ottoman women. Katerina was apparently a particularly charming child, so much so that one of her “protectresses” wanted to officially adopt her. It was not meant to be, and during a prisoner exchange initiative, Katerina was returned to her family and reunited with her mother. Many “adventures” later, the orphaned family of Markos Botsaris settled at the newly created Greek state where members of the Botsaris family were to play an important role. https://archive.org/details/poikilstoaethni02raphgoog/page/n299/mode/2up?view=theater

While in Athens, the importance of the Botsaris name, her delightful personality, and great beauty attracted the attention of Amalia of Oldenburg, Queen of Greece from 1836 to 1862 as the spouse of King Otto (1815–1867), who appointed Katerina as her 1st Greek Lady-in-Waiting. In 1841, Katerina Botsaris accompanied Queen Amalia to Munich, the birthplace of King Otto of Greece. Tradition has it that upon arrival, as she was getting out of her carriage King Ludwig of Bavaria noticed Katerina’s Mediterranean beauty and hurried to assist her. Later on, the royal couple of Greece, Otto, and Amalia, suggested Katerina’s Portrait for the Gallery of Beauties, and King Ludwig wholeheartedly agreed. It is said that she was given the name Rosa, leaving behind her real name, from the ruby ​​color of the rose … that her lips and cheeks had… https://www.bovary.gr/oramatistes/15798/roza-mpotsari-i-ellinida-kalloni-kori-toy-markoy-mpotsari-poy-emeine-sto-pantheon and https://www.patris.gr/2021/01/30/katerina-roza-mpotsari-i-kori-toy-iroa/

Katerina “Rosa” Botsari Costume, mid-19th century, crimson velvet, and embroidery of gold cords, National History Museum – Historical & Ethnological Society of Greece (EIM), Athens, Greece
Photograph Credit: Christina Hilla Famel
https://www.huffingtonpost.gr/entry/endema-pseches-apo-te-foresia-tes-kera-frosenes-mechri-tes-rozas-mpotsare_gr_60f6b247e4b0e92dfebc53bb

Stieler’s Portrait of Katerina “Rosa” Botsaris shows a great Mediterranean beauty. Her complexion is glowing and creamy, her cheeks blushed with youth. High arched eyebrows frame a long straight nose and brown heavy-lidded eyes, which look out at us kindly, a light smile drawn at the corners of her mouth. Glossy chestnut hair flows down her neck, blending into the tassel of her jauntily placed hat and the fur collar of her jacket. She poses in front of the blue, tranquil Aegean Sea, and the pale blue but luminous Greek sky… a landscape that is atmospheric and tranquil,  matching her character and demeanor. She wears an exquisite, fitted Kontogouni (vest)of crimson velvet, embroidered with gold cords, a crisp white Poukamisa (shirt), and a full, silk, pleated skirt, emphasizing her feminine shape. The Kontogouni survived time and it is still a prized treasure of the National History Museum of Greece. The artist Joseph Karl Stieler, trained in the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and in the Parisian atelier of François Gérard, a student of Jacques-Louis David, created, inspired by the Greek beauty of Katerina “Rosa” Botsaris, the perfect example of a controlled and romanticized Neoclassical portrait. https://www.art-theoria.com/painting-of-the-month/katerina-rosa-botzaris/ and https://www.nationalgallery.gr/images/docs/books/athina-monacho.pdf pages 546-548

In 1845 Katerina “Rosa” Botsaris married Prince George Karatzas. a military man of Fanariot descent and had four children, two of whom died at a young age. The marriage was not particularly happy due to her husband’s strict and authoritarian character and the death of her children. The beautiful Souliotissa died at the age of 57 in January 1875. https://www.patris.gr/2021/01/30/katerina-roza-mpotsari-i-kori-toy-iroa/

Katerina Agrafioti wrote a book (in Greek) about Katerina’s life… the story of a woman who, always respecting her origin, unreservedly served the social “musts” and overlooked her personal pursuits with the power and dignity she derived from her father’s name.https://www.kathimerini.gr/opinion/707109/aikaterini-roza-mpotsari-sti-skia-toy-onomatos-mythistorimatiki-viografia-apo-tin-katerina-agrafioti-ekdoseis-papyros/ and https://www.ianos.gr/ekaterini-roza-mpotsari-sti-skia-tou-onomatos-0195564

Pietro Luchini,  Italian Painter,1800-1883
Ekaterini Botzaris Caradja, 1845, oil on canvas, 207×159 cm, Private Collection
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ekaterini_Caradja_Botzaris.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/84/89/14/848914762a7727cfeb43a89aef41f647.jpg

A Damask Rose species bred in 1856, brightly white and very fragrant, was named Rosa Botsaris after her. https://garden.org/plants/view/415/Rose-Rosa-Botzaris/

For a Student Activity, please … Check HERE!

Rose named after Katerina “Rosa” Botsaris
http://diolkos.blogspot.com/2011/07/blog-post_136.html

Teaching with the Kritios Boy

Kritios Boy, 480  BC, Marble from the island of Paros, Height: 116.7 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/youth-statue-kritios-boy

Teaching with the Kritios Boy is a set of student activities and worksheets inspired by an awe-inspiring work of art created by a remarkable artist, a daring creator, and an amazing innovator! According to the Acropolis Museum experts, The statue’s torso was found in 1865-1866 southeast of the Parthenon, while the head in 1888 near the south walls of the Acropolis. It is one of the most important works of ancient Greek art and the most characteristic of the so-called “Severe Style”. Archaeologists have dubbed it the “Kritios Boy”, after the name of the sculptor believed to have created it. The “Kritios Boy” is depicted standing in the nude. He supports his weight on his left leg, while the right one remains loose, bent at the knee, in the characteristic posture of the “Severe Style”. His expression is solemn and his eyes, which were originally crafted from another material, have not survived. His hair follows the shape of his scalp and is tightly gathered around a ring with a few scattered strands falling on his temples and the nape of his neck. Traces of red dye are preserved on his hair. The attribution of this statue to the sculptor Kritios is based on the similarities it presents with the statue of Harmodios from the bronze group of the Tyrannicides, a work of Kritios in collaboration with Nesiotes. This group, known to us today through marble copies of the Roman period, was erected in the Ancient Agora of Athens. Who does this statue portrays, however, is not known. Some scholars believe he represents a young athlete, the winner of an event in the celebration of the Greater Panathenaia. Others claim he depicts a hero, most likely Theseus. Moreover, they link the dedication of the statue on the Acropolis with the activities of 476/5 BC, when Kimon transferred Theseus bones from the island of Skyros to Athens. https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/youth-statue-kritios-boy

Kritios Boy – face detail, 480  BC, Marble from the island of Paros, Height: 116.7 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece http://ancientrome.ru/art/artworken/img.htm?id=5960

Teaching with the Kritios Boy References, PowerPoint, and Activities…

For a List of ONLINE References on the Kritios Boy TeacherCurator put together, please… Click HERE!

For my PowerPoint on the Kritios Boy, please… Click HERE!

I always feel confident discussing an artist with my students when I prepare my Steps to Success Lesson Plan Outline

For Student Activities (3 Activities), please… Click HERE!

Marble statue of a kouros (youth), ca. 590–580 BC, Marble from the island of Naxos, (194.6 × 480 BC51.6 × 63.2 cm, the MET, NY, USA https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/253370
Aristodikos Kouros, 510-500 BC, Marble from the island of Paros, Height: 1.9 m, National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece http://nam.culture.gr/portal/page/portal/deam/virtual_exhibitions/EAMS/EAMG3938
Kritios Boy, 480  BC, Marble from the island of Paros, Height: 116.7 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/youth-statue-kritios-boy  

I hope, Teaching with the Kritios Boy, will prove easy and helpful. Do you think it justifies my BLOG name Teacher Curator?

Marble statue of a kouros (face), ca. 590–580 BC, Marble from the island of Naxos, (194.6 × 480 BC51.6 × 63.2 cm, the MET, NY, USA
https://gr.pinterest.com/pin/682436149758725905/
Aristodikos Kouros (face), 510-500 BC, Marble from the island of Paros, Height: 1.9 m, National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece https://arthistorykmg.omeka.net/items/show/106
Kritios Boy (face), 480  BC, Marble from the island of Paros, Height: 116.7 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece http://ancientrome.ru/art/artworken/img.htm?id=5960

Teaching with Domenico Veneziano

Domenico Veneziano,  c. 1410-1461
 Madonna and Child enthroned with St. Francis, John the Baptist, St. Zenobius and St. Lucy,
c. 1445, tempera on panel, 209 x 216 cm, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 (Domenico was) …a good and affectionate fellow, fond of singing and devoted to playing on the lute,  he would come together (with his friend Andrea del Castagno) every night to make merry and to serenade their mistresses” This is how Giorgio Vasari describes Domenico Veneziano, the artist from Venice who took Florence by storm! Teaching with Domenico Veneziano is a set of student activities and worksheets inspired by the great Italian artist I much admire. Domenico’  Madonna and Child enthroned with St. Francis, John the Baptist, St. Zenobius and St. Lucy Altarpiece in the Gallerie degli Uffizi is one of my favourite paintings in Florence. I am intrigued by its ethereal beauty, the balance of composition and harmony of pictorial planes. I can’t wait to be back to Florence… stand in front of it and have, once more, an aesthetically rewarding experience.     http://www.travelingintuscany.com/art/giorgiovasari/lives/andreadelcastagno.htm

When the time comes for me to introduce my students to Domenico’s oeuvre I start with Giorgio Vasari and his fictional story of how Domenico Veneziano was murdered by his friend Andrea del Castagno… a story masterfully said but totally untrue.

I start with Vasari’s condemnation of envy, wicket artistic rivalry and betrayal resulting from envy… “How reprehensible is the vice of envy, which should never exist in anyone, when found in a man of excellence, and how wicked and horrible a thing it is to seek under the guise of a feigned friendship to extinguish not only the fame and glory of another but his very life, I truly believe it to be impossible to express with words, …that in such men there dwells a spirit not merely inhuman and savage but wholly cruel and devilish, and so far removed from any sort of virtue that they are no longer men or even animals, and do not deserve to live.…” and explain the difference between a healthy competition among artists, which according to Vasari is “ …worthy to be praised and to be held in esteem as necessary and useful to the world” and pure, malicious envy capable in the case of Andrea del Castagno to “ …conceal and obscure the splendour of his talents.” http://www.travelingintuscany.com/art/giorgiovasari/lives/andreadelcastagno.htm

I finish my introductory presentation discussing Domenico’s famous anecdotal story of his assassination by Andrea del Castagno, absolutely fictitious as modern scholarship proved. “ …Andrea, …being blinded by envy of the praises that he heard given to the talent of Domenico, determined to remove him from his path; and after having thought of many expedients, he put one of them into execution in the following manner. One summer evening, according to his custom, Domenico took his lute and went forth from S. Maria Nuova, leaving Andrea in his room drawing, for he had refused to accept the invitation to take his recreation with Domenico, under the pretext of having to do certain drawings of importance. Domenico, therefore, went to take his pleasure by himself, and Andrea set himself to wait for him in hiding behind a street corner; and when Domenico, on his way home, came up to him, he crushed his lute and his stomach at one and the same time with certain pieces of lead, and then, thinking that he had not yet finished him off, beat him grievously on the head with the same weapons; and finally, leaving him on the ground, he returned to his room in S. Maria Nuova, where he put the door ajar and sat down to his drawing in the manner that he had been left by Domenico. Meanwhile, an uproar had arisen, and the servants, hearing of the matter, ran to call Andrea and to give the bad news to the murderer and traitor himself, who, running to where the others were standing around Domenico, was not to be consoled, and kept crying out: “Alas, my brother! Alas, my brother!” Finally, Domenico expired in his arms; nor could it be discovered, for all the diligence that was used, who had murdered him; and if Andrea had not revealed the truth in confession on his death-bed, it would not be known now.”     http://www.travelingintuscany.com/art/giorgiovasari/lives/andreadelcastagno.htm

Domenico Veneziano,  c. 1410-1461
The Adoration of the Magi, 1435, tempera on panel, 90 cm diameter, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

Teaching with Domenico Veneziano Activities…

For the List of ONLINE References on Domenico Veneziano TeacherCurator put together, please… Click HERE!

For my PowerPoint on Domenico Veneziano, please… Click HERE!

I always feel confident discussing an artist with my students when I prepare my Steps to Success Lesson Plan Outline

7 Steps to Success…

For Student Activities (four Activities), please… Click HERE!

I hope that Teaching with Domenico Veneziano, will prove easy and helpful. Do you think it justifies my BLOG name TeacherCurator?

Domenico Veneziano,  c. 1410-1461
The Annunciation, c. 1445/1448, tempera on panel, 27.3 x 54 cm, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

1st Day Back to School

School Lesson, Attic red-figure Kylix from Cerveteri by the painter Duris, around 480 BC, 11.5×28.5 cm, . Altes Museum, Pergamonmuseum

Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.” Said young Malala Yousafzai and I couldn’t agree more! Today, September 14, 2020, is the 1st Day Back to School for all students in Greece and I want to celebrate it with a new Lesson Plan. https://www.shutterfly.com/ideas/school-quotes/

Have you ever thought about how the 1st Day Back to School was during ancient Greek time? We can only guess by examining an amazing ancient Greek Kylix in the Altes Museum, in Berlin by the Duris Painter. Using it as an example, I will introduce my students to school reality in Greece – 2.500 years ago!   

“Every student has a teacher, every teacher teaches a different discipline; the picture unites what actually took place in different rooms. One side of the shell begins on the left with lessons in the lyre game, teacher and student play in unison. A particularly worthy teacher follows in a comfortable armchair; for the viewer of the picture he has opened the scroll with the beginning of the heroic song, which the pupil standing there in a cloak has to recite by heart. On the right a strange spectator, half belonging, half excluded. He sits there with his legs crossed in a casual, ignoble style: we have to see him as the pedagogue (‘boys’ leader’), the servant who accompanies the distinguished boy to school and back home. – On the opposite side, on the left, a young teacher is playing the melody with the double flute, to which the schoolboy sings. The fourth teacher corrects a work of his pupil on the blackboard. The scene ends again with a pedagogue.”     http://www.smb-digital.de/eMuseumPlus?service=direct/1/ResultLightboxView/result.t1.collection_lightbox.$TspTitleImageLink.link&sp=10&sp=Scollection&sp=SfilterDefinition&sp=0&sp=2&sp=1&sp=Slightbox_3x4&sp=12&sp=Sdetail&sp=0&sp=F&sp=T&sp=15   

1st Day back to School Lesson Plan

Essential Question: Compared to antiquity, how similar or how different is Education and subsequently, School Classrooms, today?

Goals: Help students understand the importance of Education in the development of Mankind – Assist students to connect the past with the present – Help students learn about Education through works of art

Enduring Understanding: Education is the process of helping students acquire knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.

8 Steps to Success

Introduction to the Lesson -Essential Question: Compared to antiquity, how similar or how different is Education, and subsequently School Classrooms, today?

Visual Learning – Part 1, “My Classroom … then”: Show students what PP “teachercurator” has prepared, please… Click HERE!

Be Inquisitive – Questions and Answers: Discuss each picture and then ask students the questions “teachercurator” prepared for you … Q&A click HERE!

Goals: To help students understand the importance of education – Assisting students to connect the past with the present- To help students learn about education from works of art.

Visual Learning – Part 2, “Classrooms … now”: Show students the “33 Eye-Opening Pictures Of Classrooms Around The World” so you can discuss it.     https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/gabrielsanchez/this-is-what-going-to-school-looks-like-around-the-world

Be Inquisitive: Guide students to Comparisons between the past and the present. Compare pictures to their own classroom. Furthermore, discuss with students what they like/dislike in each picture and what they would like to have in their own classroom. Be creative!!!

Enduring Understanding: Education is the process of helping students acquire knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.

Assessment Activity: For a “Writing across the Curriculum” Activity, please… check HERE!

OR… Music was a very important component of Ancient Greek Education and students were expected to learn how to play musical instruments. Inspired by the 2nd and 3rd Slides, have students do the Getty Museum “Classy Cardboard Lyre” Art Activity because it is easy, exciting, creative, fun, and educational! https://www.getty.edu/education/teachers/classroom_resources/tips_tools/downloads/aa_cardboard_lyre.pdf