Here you can find all of the Charlotte Mason Picture Study Aids I’ve made, which you can download for FREE – no strings attached! (If you’re looking for printable files of JUST the artworks with no additional commentary, you can find those over here.) I follow the Ambleside Online Charlotte Mason Picture Study schedule for the more well-known artists, but I also offer aids from some of their lesser-known contemporaries in non-western areas or people of color or female artists. For the lesser-known artists, I pick the pieces myself. Each picture study aid contains a brief story from the artist’s childhood, synopses of at least six of their works, as well as resources for additional learning and, in the cases of the newer ones, there are also full-size images of each piece for you to print.
I’m making these available for free because I believe that art is important (so much so that I have a BA in art history 🙂 ). One of the things that drew me most to the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education is her emphasis on exposing children to fine art. I loved the idea of simply showing them works of great art and allowing them to absorb them on their own. There were no explanations or in-depth analyses of the pieces to complicate them. The children were simply meant to enjoy and take in the art.
About this topic, Ms. Mason said:
His 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 pg 43)
I especially liked the last part… “imagination has the property of magical expansion, the more it holds the more it will hold.”
When we first started going through the Ambleside Online picture study schedule, there were a few times that my son asked me something specific about a picture like, “what’s that thing?” or, “who is that?” In some cases, I was able to come up with some random factoid that happened to wedge itself in my brain when I was in school, or I could pull one of my old textbooks down from the shelf and look up the piece in question. In other cases, though, I didn’t have a ready answer.
Because of this, I decided to come up with something I could use in my own homeschool to help me with picture study. Linked below are all of the aids I currently have available. They’re all free, so please feel free to download and use them in your own art appreciation!