Anitra Redlefsen
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home > Learning Activities and Art Projects > Bright Ideas > Bright Idea


A great way for students to learn about master artists is for them to celebrate their birthdays! There are several internet sites that provide a listing of artists and their birthdays, by month. On Google, type in "artists and their birthdays," or go to this site:

  1. Provide students with the name, date of birth and death, nationality and visual art medium (sculptor, painter, etc.) and birthday of the artist. For example:
    John-Francois Millet, 1814-1875 French Painter
    October 4
  2. Show students a work of art created by the artist; images can be easily obtained from an art book or the internet. Site the medium and year created. For example:
    "The Angelus," by John-Francois Millet
    Oil on canvas, 1857
  3. Ask: What is going on in this painting? And what do you see that makes you say that?

  4. Acknowledge students’ responses, repeat and paraphrase if appropriate. There are no right or wrong answers!

  5. Encourage students’ comments, point out similarities and differences in their observations.

  6. Ask: If this artist were alive today, how old would he or she be?

  7. Ask: Does anyone share this birthday with the artist?

  8. Age/grade appropriate: Ask: What was going on in the world at the time that this artist lived and worked? How might these have influenced what he painted?

  9. Do you like this painting? Why or why not.
A great, fun way to learn about art and history at the same time!


"The Angelus," by John-Francois Millet
Oil on canvas, 1857

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