Charlotte Mason believed a child’s “education should furnish him with whole galleries of mental pictures, pictures by great artists old and new;––…–– in fact, every child should leave school with at least a couple of hundred pictures by great masters hanging permanently in the halls of his imagination, to say nothing of great buildings, sculpture, beauty of form and colour in things he sees. Perhaps we might secure at least a hundred lovely landscapes too,––sunsets, cloudscapes, starlight nights. At any rate he should go forth well furnished because imagination has the property of magical expansion, the more it holds the more it will hold. (Vol 6: Towards a Philosophy of Education pg 43)
The Simply Charlotte Mason website describes picture study as “a gentle and inviting way to introduce good art to your children… Display a picture and have the children look at it until they can see it clearly in their minds’ eye. Turn the picture over and ask them to describe it. When their narration is finished, display the picture again and discuss as desired. Display the picture in a prominent place for the rest of the week…. Linger with the same artist for several weeks until the children become familiar with his style.”
My family has enjoyed the Picture Study Aids from A Humble Place and I would highly recommend them. Those from the Ambleside Online Artist Rotation Schedule are free, and some are paid. She describes Charlotte Mason picture study in a bit more depth in her free Picture Study Aids.
Rebecca of A Humble Place says how Charlotte Mason “recommended keeping learning as simple as possible, especially in the younger years, and put extra emphasis on the images by themselves.”
“There is no talk about schools of painting, little about style; consideration of these matters comes in later life, the first and most important thing is to know the pictures themselves. As in a worthy book we leave the author to tell his own tale, so do we trust a picture to tell its tale through the medium the artist gave it. In the region of art as else-where we shut out the middleman.” (Vol 6: Towards a Philosophy of Education pg 216)
“Definite teaching is out of the question; suitable ideas are easily given, and a thoughtful love of Art inspired by simple natural talk over the picture at which the child is looking.” (PR Article “Picture Talks”)
However…. I live in Ireland and I wanted my children to have hanging in their galleries of mental pictures, pictures by great IRISH artists. We have been regular visitors to the galleries here in Ireland. However no one had created some sets of artworks for each of a few Irish artists, and so here I am creating them for this website.
The first Irish Artist that we have studied using the above Charlotte Mason method of Art Appreciation was Harry Clarke (1889 –1931) a stained-glass artist and book illustrator. Go and take a look here.
I look forward to sharing more suggestions for Charlotte Mason style art appreciation of Irish artists in the future.
I share about using a Charlotte Mason Approach for studying Irish Artists in this video.