Welcome back to Masterpiece Monday, where I share with you awesome artworks and share ways to use them in your classroom or homeschool. Today is a special one, because I’ve made a video to go along with the post!
I’ve selected The Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David, because it is one of my favorite paintings. I love how this painting tells a story and connects with history. I’ve featured it before on Exploring Narrative in Art, and today I’m diving into the painting a little deeper. First, take a good look at it!
I’ve made for you a YouTube video going through the process of interpreting this painting as well as sharing the story of the painting and how it relates to history (the French Revolution). I wouldn’t hesitate to show this artwork to as young as maybe third or fourth grade. The video would work best for high school and adults (you!) probably.
If you don’t feel like watching, you can read the video transcript.
Art Discussion Questions
Use these questions to help discuss this painting:
- What’s going on in this painting?
- Describe the actions and emotions in the painting.
- What’s the story in this painting? How can you tell?
- What choices did the artist make to emphasize Socrates?
- How is Socrates different from the other people in the painting?
- What does this painting tell us about the people who made it?
Art Learning Activities
Here are some art learning activities that can accompany this painting. Please note, this post includes Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- For high school and college students, read these accounts of the Trial and Death of Socrates by Plato ($2.70 on Amazon and only $.99 on Kindle).
- Complete any of the creative activities from Exploring Narrative in Art.
- Check out this awesome collection of art lesson plans on Neoclassical art from the Getty for middle and high school students.
- Learn more about Ancient Greek philosophy with this video.
That’s it! Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed my foray into making videos! 🙂