Magazine article Arts & Activities

Rembrandt Laughing, Rembrandt Van Rijn

Magazine article Arts & Activities

Rembrandt Laughing, Rembrandt Van Rijn

Article excerpt


Share the Art Print with students and its title: Rembrandt Laughing. Briefly explain who Rembrandt was and that he is well known for creating many self-portraits over the course of his lifetime. Ask students: Why would the artist choose to portray himself laughing? What might he be laughing at or about? Next, ask students to close their eyes and imagine something that makes them laugh. Next, pass out drawing paper, pencils and crayons, and have students make a self-portrait that reflects happiness or laughter. Give students time to share their work. Create a gallery alongside the Art Print.


Display the Art Print to students. Ask for volunteers to define the term "self-portrait." Inform students that Rembrandt presents himself in costume as a soldier. Ask students for their thoughts on why the artist might have chosen to make a picture of him self dressed as someone else. Give students time to respond, and then ask them to imagine what costume they might choose to wear if they were making their own self-portrait. Ask students to offer responses.

Share with students that they will have a chance to do just that over the next few class sessions. Instruct students to bring in a costume to the next class, and inform them that you will be taking their picture in costume. (Costumes do not have to be elaborate: a soccer uniform, old Halloween costume, or something put together from various pieces of clothing and accessories). Emphasis to students that they should feel positive about the costume in some way.

Set up a stool near a light source. Take a picture of each student in costume with the right side toward the light source. Print out these pictures for use in the next class session. Distribute the portraits. Give students time to study the image. Spend a brief amount of time comparing the student portraits to the Art Print. …

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