12th September 2003 at 01:00
Key stage 3 or 4: discuss with pupils "The School of Athens" and the way Raphael uses gestures, expressions and objects to identify the philosophers. Introduce a range of artists' self-portraits and portraits of other people to consider how they use these techniques to convey their own thoughts, or the thoughts and feelings of someone else (Holbein's "The Ambassadors", Velasquez's "Portrait of Pope Innocent X" etc). Pupils select a famous person and make a portrait using symbolism, gesture, or surround the person with significant objects that suggest the person's thinking.

Alternatively they could produce a collage, using the Raphael composition, with a group of influential figures cut out from magazines, with a digital image of themselves in the group.

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