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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.

Three Centuries of French Art: Classicism to Cubism

This Three Centuries of French Art lesson allows students to learn about French history and culture through the artworks in the MFA's Art of Europe collection. The lesson is designed to complement a Three Centuries of French Art tour, which explores artwork from the 17th to 20th centuries, encompassing a number of artistic styles, including Classicism, French Rococo, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism.

Learning Goals:

Through this lesson:

•Students will practice the skills of close observation and expression, as well as supporting their ideas by grounding them in a work of art.

•Students will learn about various styles of visual art while specifically linking the artwork back to events in French history.

This discovery will require students to:

•Look closely and make visual observations about art.

•Express their ideas and share them with either peers.

•Generate hypotheses and observations based on prior knowledge of history and social sciences.

Using this resource:

•French teachers will be interested in introducing students to various styles of French art, as well as learning French vocabulary and historical figures.

For sample related classroom activities, download the PDFs available under Related Resources.

The objects in this lesson are just a beginning. We encourage you to explore the Museum's online collection through this web resource—or even better, to visit the Museum and walk through the physical galleries—to look for other objects that will provide further insights into the relationship between words and images.

Related Resources