Lesson ideas

8th October 2004 at 01:00

Michelangelo wrote, "I understand sculpture as that which is made by force of taking away; that which is made by adding on is similar to painting."

To carve a portrait bust, take a block of clay about 15 cms high. Carve a head from the block, making sure you do not cheat by adding anything on.

You will have to plan ahead and live with your mistakes. Then collect the off-cuts and model another head from those. Think about the difference between carving and modelling in relation to Michelangelo's statement.

Which do you enjoy most? What advantages does each possess? See: www.michelangelo.combuonarroti.html


The Greeks changed the purpose of art to encourage people to identify with the stories of gods and heroes. What are the stories and who are the heroes in our culture? Are we encouraged to identify with them and if so how? (See websites and magazines such as Hello! to research this.) Read the play by Euripides, Iphigeneia of Aulis. Discuss stories and beliefs in other religions where a father is required to sacrifice his child and the child is miraculously replaced at the last minute by an animal, or, having been sacrificed, is taken up to heaven. Discuss sacrifice in different religions. Discuss the differences between carving and modelling in sculpture.

For Euripides: www.imagi-nation. commoonstruckclsc4.htm

Greek tragedy, according to the philosopher Aristotle, should apply the rules of the three unities (Google search: Greek tragedy three unities): unity of time; place; and action. This means all key actions taking place outside the space have to be reported rather than shown. Choose a reported action from Iphigeneia of Aulis other than the subject of this sculpture and illustrate it with a painting or a free-standing sculpture modelled in clay.

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