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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Art : Limbourg Brothers II - Book of Hours

One of the Limbourg brother's most famous work is the Book of Hours (Tres Riches Hueres) commissioned by the Duke of Berry. This book of prayer has prayers for certain times of the year, month, day or hour. The Limbourg brothers were responsible for richly illustrating the book. In it is a calender that had 12 pictures depicting various events within the year occurring in and around the Duke of Berry's castle vicinity.

I chose to conduct detailed Picture Study for the months of January, March, May and August in the Book of Hours. We viewed the rest of the paintings of the other months in this site just for fun.

These studies were followed by a creation of our own "Book of Hours". Basically, I just told my boys to draw a picture that is a representative event of the month of January or February this year. We added the semicircular outline on the top of our paintings to mimic the template used by the Limbourg brothers.

Here is B's January.

He wanted to remember the day when we went visiting during Chinese New Year. He brought our Rubik's cube along and was playing with it. He had then already been able to solve the cube without referring to the solution sheet. (Memorized the solution. I didn't think anybody could do that.) An uncle of mine was impressed and insisted on timing him. B solved the Rubik's cube within a staggering time of 1 minute 30 seconds!!! (D's best time was 1 minute 37 seconds.)

Here is D's February.

He wanted to remember the fun he had at the zoo when we first visited Kidzworld. This picture is of him pulling the rope on the raft.

I want to make a note here that my boys had really come a long way with respect to their painting. They still have lots of room for improvement, of course! I am just glad that they have more control of the brush now so at least they can get most of the paint within the lines. I attribute this improvement solely to the natural development of their fine motor skills. I have seen other little girls being able to colour or paint neatly at a younger age, and have always wondered why my boys can't seem to do that! :-( I have to constantly remind myself that every child is unique and they all have different developmental clocks.

I am also glad to see that they have applied what they have learnt from the lessons in Draw Squad to their drawing.:-) See the 3D cube and raft!

As an aside, ... ... ...

In the preschool years, I had tended to plan my lessons thematically. It worked then, but is a little too tedious for me at this stage when I have more specific topics to cover. However, selecting a few related poems or books was no trouble at all.

This is my attempt at riding on the theme of Calenders/Seasons.

We revisited the poem A Calendar by Sara Coleridge. This is a lovely poem that we seem to not get sick of relearning every year! We have a few versions of this poem in some of our poetry books but our favourite is from this book Eloise Wilkin's Poems to Read to the Very Young. This is a board book that I read to my boys since they were toddlers. The illustrations are lovely. In fact I caught my boys devouring it all over again during their free time.

For Chinese, I selected the book 春天的兔子 for our read aloud. The story tells of a rabbit's impatient wait for the arrival of his little siblings through the different seasons. A rare Chinese Living Book :-)

Visit Rumphius Webpage Art to learn more about how we approach Art in our homeschool.

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