Beyond Face Value KQ4 Why did Ford Madox Brown paint this detailed picture of a scene that never existed?

This lesson revolves around a single painting entitled Work, painted by Ford Madox Brown between 1852 and 1865. Using Fastest Finger First pupils are encouraged to explore the full detail of this fascinating painting before role playing the wealth of interesting characters shown, so a narrative is built up. Finally pupils explore the deeper meaning behind the painting by putting the artist in the hot seat so they can understand what his intentions were.

Step 1

Start with a very short introduction explaining the title and what scene it is meant to represent. Keep it literal at this stage. Don’t mention any deeper meaning. That’s for later.

To explore the painting in detail, provide pupils with an A3 copy of the image RS1.( If you laminate this for future use it’s a one-off cost). They play Fastest Finger First. In turn they have to spot something in the picture and see who is the last to find an item of significance. They must say what it is they have found though so they are developing vocabulary as they go on and realising what they know and don’t know.

Step 2

Now it’s time to explore the painting in more detail.

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