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Art Ideas for Kids

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Making A Triptych

Before the holidays I went with Molly’s school to visit The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. We had a lovely time looking at all the painting and exhibits and the children had a talk from one of the curators which focussed on two of the stunning triptych art works.

A triptych is a work of art, which is split into three sections which can be folded shut or displayed open. The ones we looked at were religious themed – they were often used as altar paintings from the middle ages onward.

Triptych, Isenbrandt or Isenbrant, Adriaen (c.1490-1551)

Questions asked about the triptych.

Who is the baby in the picture and who is the lady holding him?

Who are the three men visiting the baby?

Which part of the painting is the most important? How can you tell?

Where do you think this picture was put originally?

What do you think is on the outside of the painting when the panels are folded in?

Jan van Scorel (1475-1562) – Triptych Noli Me Tangere, with donors

Who is the central person in the picture?

Which is the most important of the people in the side panel?

How are all the people in the side panel related?

Who is the person painted really small standing with the women?

art ideas

After the gallery visit the children made their own mini triptych. This is such a lovely idea and perfect for five-year olds. All you need a piece of card folded into three and cut into an arch shape.

art ideas

Inside the children drew their own scene, making sure the central panel contained the most important image. As you can see this then became a Christmas card which was sent home. I think this would work really well at any time of year. It would be a great way to make a self-portrait – with a picture of the family in the middle panel and cousins on the panel.

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If you want more art ideas for children then check out Kids Get Arty! Get Arty

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