by Diane C. Taylor
The Renaissance Artists with History Projects for Kids introduces readers ages 10 through 15 to the Italian Renaissance as it was experienced by five of the world’s most renowned artists: Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian. Kids learn about the biographies of these Renaissance artists through the perspective of three to four major works of art that not only defined that artist’s career but also created a cultural legacy that still resonates in the world today.
Renaissance artists were not working and living in a vacuum! Instead, their work was informed by the cultural, historical, and political contexts of their time. Renaissance artists were required to serve lengthy apprenticeships in the busy studios of master artists, learning to make brushes, grind pigments, make fresh plaster, and draw. Plus, they had to maintain membership in guilds and keep in mind the pleasures and opinions of the wealthy patrons who funded their art. Being an artist involved much more than making art!
Using an inquiry-based approach to learning, each chapter of The Renaissance Artists includes hands-on activities and open-ended assignments that challenge readers to think critically and creatively about the political and social forces in the time of the Renaissance and today. Get a hands-on experience of the tools of the trade of a Renaissance artist and draw with charcoal, make egg tempera, paint on a ceiling (under a table lined with paper!), experiment with linear perspective, make oil paints, try your hand at portraiture, and more. Fun facts, primary source illustrations, and links to online resources spark an interest in the Renaissance. Even without a time machine, learners can experience the Renaissance