So, we've been doing more Art Study now that our CC community is taking a break for the summer. It's nice to be able to find the extra time to do things like this!
Art (history) Study, at least how I do it, involves looking at beautiful paintings [or in our case, reprints], I mean really looking and observing. The idea is to help you and your kids develop a relationship with the painting. The longer you look, the more you see!
I tell my kids (and I'm sure this wasn't my idea) that the goal is to create an art museum in your mind. When you want to, you can recall paintings and enjoy them even when you don't have them in front of you! It's the same goal when you memorize Scripture, inspiring quotes, and poetry! We take several minutes observing as many things as we can in each picture. Then we put the pictures away and try to describe them to each other.
For a change, I've been having the kids make a drawing of the picture while they observe. It's amazing the little details they pick out. I didn't even notice people in one of the paintings by Ruisdael, but Bubba did! (This term we are studying 3 pieces each by Jacob van Ruisdael (1628/9-1682) and Pieter de Hooch (1629-1684)).
If you'd like more tips and ideas and the philosophy about Art Study in this way, you can find it over here at AmblesideOnline.
Another reason Art Study is useful?
A while back we went out to breakfast and my daughter, then 4, looks at a painting on the wall and says to me, "Mom! That painting reminds me of The Falls of Tivoli by Fragonard."
This kind of comment is extremely useful for when you're trying to impress strangers.