To read more about Charlotte Mason picture study and to see the other picture study aids I have available, click here.
Rembrandt goes so deep into the mysterious that he says things for which there are no words in any language. It is with justice that they call Rembrandt—magician—that’s no easy occupation.Vincent van Gogh
The Return of the Prodigal Son was the painting that changed my mind about Rembrandt. It was not a piece that I had studied in college and so I didn’t become more acquainted with it until a few years ago when we learned about him in our homeschool co-op. Whereas before I didn’t care for his style, focusing only on his technique, this was the piece that finally helped me to see the emotion in his paintings. Though it’s sometimes subtle, there is emotion in all of his pieces, and often that emotion is autobiographical. He was a master of portraiture in obvious ways, as seen below in one of his many, many self-portraits that I captured at the Denver Art Museum a few years ago, as well as not so obvious ways. This is why I have to agree with van Gogh’s quote above – Rembrandt was a magician.
Today I’m offering a free Picture Study Aid for Rembrandt that includes the six images selected for the AmblesideOnline artist study rotation. This 23-page PDF offers a short biography from his childhood, key topics about six of his paintings (including excerpts from L’Umile Pianta and Mary Innes’s Schools of Painting, a book used by PNEU educators), and six printable versions of the paintings (without artist name or titles) at the end.
I do include a brief overview of Charlotte Mason picture study at the beginning of the file, however, I have also written posts here on the blog about why picture study is important and how we do it in both our home and homeschool co-op.
You can download the file at the link at the end of the post!
This is by no means an exhaustive analysis or study of each piece, and that is intentional. I tried to keep it all very simple in the spirit of there being, “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 pg 216)
For enjoying art with children in general, I also included a page of art sources that I’ve found particularly good:
For younger children, I highly recommend the Mini-Master series by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober. Also, the Touch The Art series by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo.
For both younger and older children, the Come Look With Me series by Gladys S. Blizzard is excellent.
You may download it below for personal use in your own homeschool (Ambleside Online, another Charlotte Mason curriculum, or otherwise). And as always, if you have any feedback or suggestions, I would love for you to fill out my feedback form!