Exploring Impressionist Landscapes
Back to Comparing Landscapes Lesson Plans
- Grade Level: Middle School, High School
- Subject Area: Art
Students visit an on-line art museum in Paris, analyze several landscapes, and explore the painting techniques.
- Become familiar with the distinctive aspects of classical Impressionist landscapes paintings.
- Explore painting techniques that are elements of Impressionist landscape paintings.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: None.
- Special software requirements: None.
- Internet access: High-speed (greater than 1 MBPS via network).
- Classroom resources: Paints (either tempra or acrylic), paper, and subjects for landscape paintings, such as photographs of landscapes.
- Introduce the lesson by outlining to students the plans for the next few class sessions. Let students know that they will be visiting a site with classical Asian landscape paintings, that they will be expected to analyze the paintings according to several criteria, and that they will later be completing a landscape of their own in a similar style.
- Discuss the list of criteria that students will use to analyze the components of the landscapes they see. The following are list of possible criteria:
- What is the natural subject matter the painter chose to depict?
- How realistic is the painting-- does it look just like something you have seen in nature?
- How has the artist used color in the picture? What sort of feeling or experience does this use of color evoke?
- Is the pigment the artist used opaque or transparent? What sort of techniques do you think might have been used to achieve this effect?
- How has the artist used line in the picture? What sort of feeling or experience does this use of line evoke?
- How is the illusion of space created in the piece?
- What three words would you use to describe this painting?
- Have students visit the Web Museum exhibits on Monet and Renoir (see Internet Resources below). Have students focus on Renoir's landscapes and Monet's haystacks and water lilies. Students should also read the biographies of both artists' that accompany the art works. Students should respond to the questions listed above and record their observations for later use.
- Assemble the class for a whole group discussion of students' observations. Wrap the discussion by highlighting the distinctive elements of Impressionist landscapes and summarizing students ideas on techniques that might be used to achieve such effects. Ask students to try to link information they learned from the biographical sketches to the artists' work.
- Students create water color landscapes in the style of the Impressionist landscapes they viewed. Students should be encouraged to work from the same model that they used to create their Asian landscape.
- Works by Claude Monet at the Web Museum
This site provides a brief biography and discussion of Monet's works in addition to samples of his work throughout his career.
- Works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir at the Web Museum
This site provides a brief biography and discussion of Renoir's works in addition to samples of his work throughout his career.