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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Homeschool Lesson 4/6: Animal Friends

  • Raven Steals the Moon

    Slide Notes

    In most Native American cultures, the raven is seen both as a trickster and the creator of light. The story goes that in the beginning, there was no light in the world. The only person who had the light was an old man and his daughter who lived by a river, and he kept it locked tight inside a box inside a box inside a box. The raven decided to disguise himself, and trick the old man into giving him the light! After a long time the old man finally decided to show the disguised raven the light - and as soon as he did, the raven snatched it up in his beak, turned back into a raven, and flew up into the sky! He was able to see the whole world - but Eagle was also able to see him, and in the chase he dropped the light. The light broke into one big piece and many small pieces, which bounced back into the sky and became the Moon and the Stars.

    (summarized from http://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/aborig/reid/reid14e.shtml)

    Details

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Ganesha

    Slide Notes

    Ganesha is easily recognizable by his head -- he has an elephant head! He is seen as the Remover of Obstacles, Lord of Learning (elephants are known to be wise!), intelligent, and the God of Beginnings. Who else can you see in this sculpture - any other animals?

    Details

    Ganesha with His Consorts

    early 11th century

    Dimensions

    Overall (object): 105.1 x 68.6 x 33 cm (41 3/8 x 27 x 13 in.) Overall (including base and wooden skid): 352 kg (776 lb.) Overall (base): 13.2 x 76 x 40.5 cm (5 3/16 x 29 15/16 x 15 15/16 in.) Case (Reinforced wooden pedestal/ three sided outer skirt): 137.2 x 91.4 x 55.9 cm (54 x 36 x 22 in.)

    Medium

    Sandstone

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    1989.312

    Collections
    Asia
    On View
    176 More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • The Porcelain Menagerie

    Slide Notes

    Around 1725, Augustus II, elector of Saxony and King of Poland, conceived the bold plan to convert a Dresden residence, known as the “Japanese” Palace, into a magnificent setting for the royal ceramics collection. The ground floor rooms were to showcase more than 25,000 pieces of Chinese and Japanese ceramics, while the upper story was reserved for the porcelain produced at his own factory in nearby Meissen. The most spectacular interior was to be a long gallery, decorated with nearly six hundred porcelain animals. Sixty-nine different species were ordered, ranging from dogs, foxes, and goats to exotic elephants and monkeys, and even three mythical creatures. These large animals, some life-sized, stretched the technical and artistic limits of the porcelain medium, only recently discovered in Europe.

    In May 1732 Kändler created one of the most dynamic and expressive animals of all-a life-sized Brazilian macaw climbing down a tree trunk. Kändler based his models on live animals in the royal zoos in and around Dresden, achieving an astonishing degree of naturalism. Measuring four feet in height, this model is also one of the largest produced at Meissen.

    (from mfa.org)

    Details

    Macaw

    about 1732

    Meissen Manufactory, Germany

    Dimensions

    Overall: 124.5 cm (49 in.) Weight (estimated): 55 lb. (24.95 kg)

    Medium

    Hard-paste porcelain

    Classification

    Ceramics, Porcelain

    Accession Number

    2006.922

    Collections
    Europe
    On View
    Future AOE Gallery (18th c.) - 142 More Info

    Description

    Naturalistically modeled, perching on a tree stump base, upside down with wings unfurled and beak open.

    Multimedia

  • Lion and Lioness

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Lion and Lioness

    1771

    George Stubbs, English, 1724–1806

    Dimensions

    102.9 x 127.6 cm (40 1/2 x 50 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    49.6

    Collections
    Europe
    On View
    Shapiro Gallery (18th c. European) - 246 More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Dog Bed

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Bed

    about 1800–05

    Thomas Hope, 1769–1831

    Dimensions

    Overall: 137.2 x 123.2 x 243.8 cm (54 x 48 1/2 x 96 in.)

    Medium

    Oak and pine veneered with mahogany and painted black, patinated bronze mounts.

    Classification

    Furniture

    Accession Number

    2003.258

    Collections
    Europe
    On View
    Beal Gallery (Europ. Art 1800-1870) - 251 More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Pegasus

    Slide Notes

    Pegasus is a mythical pure-white horse with wings. He was friends with the Muses, and helped heroes on their quests (including Bellerophon to defeat the Chimera, a vicious creature with the body of a lion, head of a goat, and tail of a snake). According to legend, everywhere he touched the ground with his hoof an inspiring spring would come out.

    Details

    Perseus on Pegasus Slaying Medusa

    1922–25

    John Singer Sargent, American, 1856–1925

    Dimensions

    347.98 x 317.5 cm (137 x 125 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    25.642

    Collections
    Americas
    On View
    204B More Info

    Description

    Multimedia