Trivium Pursuit

Learn to Love Art: Art Appreciation for Children

Henriëtte Ronner–Knip (1821-1909) was a Dutch painter who loved to paint dogs and cats. The painting you see here is called The Dog Cart. Spend a bit of time observing this painting, and then answer the questions below. Since the goal of this study is to learn to love art, I recommend that you answer the questions orally, not with pencil and paper.

the_dog_cart-large

What is the first thing you see when you look at this painting?
Which of the three dogs do you like the best?
Which of the three dogs is at the “center of interest”? ∗ How do you know?
Why are the stick on the ground and the black dog pointing to the red dog?
How does the artist tell you that the dogs are running fast?
What do you think is in the cart?
Would you like to have a cart like this? What would you carry in your cart?
Who is the man on the donkey?
See the grass on both sides of the painting near the dogs — do you think it’s placed there to keep our eyes from going off the painting?

∗ A “center of interest” is the all-important part of a painting — that part of the picture which attracts the mind and is the brightest and sharpest. Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid across the painting. Each of the four intersections of the tic-tac-toe lines is a “center of interest.”

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