Painted rooms

Let your child explore the different art movements in history with this activity that focuses on depictions of interior spaces.

You'll Need

  • A visit to a museum


60 minutes

Learning Stages

Domestic interiors are not static. A Johannes Vermeer household is distinctly different than a room by a French Impressionist, and neither resembles Picasso's fractured spaces. Each of these examples represents the painter's sense of his own world. The light in a Vermeer painting idealizes, rather than reflects, domestic life, while other 17th century Dutch paintings depict the custom of using rugs as tablecloths.

On your next museum visit, focus your child’s attention on the domestic interiors depicted in the paintings. Compare and contrast the interiors to that of your own home. Think about the people depicted. Who sits down to lunch at a French Impressionist's table as opposed to a diner in an Edward Hopper painting? What attire would be appropriate to wear to one of the tea parties painted by John Singer Sargent? When are servants present in the scene? Examining art from this perspective will provide your child practice in visual thinking and context for appreciating art.