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Yesterday, my art-teacher friend, Melissa Duffy, reminded me of an effective classroom exercise for picture studies. Homeschool students, as well as any family or group gathering, would find it entertaining and educational, to set up a Tableaux re-creating a favorite painting.

We tried it in one of my art camps this past summer and had so much fun we’ll do it again next year—with more preparation and attention to detail.

CARL LARSSON: The Flower Window, watercolor painting from artist’s book series, “At Home”
ART CAMP 2, July 08, spontaneous tableaux vivant with Mattison Frank posing as Suzanne, Carl Larsson’s daughter featured in the painting.

Before radio or television, tableaux vivants were popular forms of entertainment. And before the age of color reproduction of images, the tableau vivant (often abbreviated simply to tableau) was sometimes used to recreate paintings “on stage”, based on an etching or sketch of the painting.

Now I’m trying to decide which painting to choose for my students to study via this Tableaux exercise! Any suggestions?

Author: Bonnie Porter

Bonnie Porter is an artist who lived in Europe and now resides in Atlanta. A part-time art teacher who paints and creates with a love of color, line and composition, drawing on inspiration from everywhere.

One Comment

  1. Carl Larsson books are on my wish list. I want them all!

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