Skip to Content

Compare and Contrast: Analyzing Portraits of Significant Individuals

4 Favorites 0 Copies
Language Arts And English +3 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

This collection includes a video that presents the question: "What did the artist keep the same and what did he change? Why?" In this collection, there are multiple images of individuals who have made a strong contribution in society. The artists have  placed emphasis on the hands of the sitters. The objective is for students to compare and contrast multiple paintings, with the goal of gaining insights into ways portraitists convey personality with details.

1. Watch the video and write down the similarities between the two paintings that are presented. What are some comments the narrator said about the people in the paintings?

2. The narrator says the hands of the people are given great importance. Why do you think so?

3. Write down the similarities of the people's hands in the portraits.

4. Using that information,  create a T-Chart. On one side of the chart write the overall similarities of the people in the paintings (build upon the findings of the narrator) and on the other side, the differences. 

5. Using that information compare and contrast the second image and third images with the two paintings in the video. Add another column to the T-Chart and write down your findings. 

6. Discuss or write about your conclusions as to what the painters were trying to express about the sitters.  Do you think they were effective?

Tags: una troubridge;  statue; representation; character; photograph; painting; visual.

Una, Lady Troubridge

Smithsonian American Art Museum

George Washington (Lansdowne Portrait)

National Portrait Gallery

Portrait of Felix Albrecht Harta

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden