Always quick to spot visual clues, Year 5 had fun this week exploring the anachronisms in our ‘Take One Picture’ painting - The Finding of Moses by Orazio Gentileschi. The painting depicts the story of Moses being discovered in the bulrushes on the Nile by the daughter of the Pharaoh. However, the characters in the painting are shown wearing the seventeenth century dress popular at the time the painting was made, rather than Egyptian clothing.
Each class explored the painting in different ways, driven by the children’s own questions and ideas. They were especially interested in using today’s technology to record and enhance their creative responses. 5TH were captured by the story of Moses - his abandonment and dramatic rescue - and recorded this, using Chromebooks, as a ‘TV news story’, bringing the telling right up to date. 5NM loved the idea of something being ‘out of place’ in the picture, and produced their own artwork, on Egyptian papyrus, containing an anachronism. 5FG were interested in the geographical displacement between where the story was based (Egypt) and where the painting was hung, in Greenwich. They made a video travelogue of the journey from one place to another. In 5JDC, the children were fascinated by the idea of setting the story in other time periods and how the clothes would have differed in those times. They researched different modes of dress - Ancient Egyptian, Regency Chinese, Aztec and Victorian - and made accurate models of the characters in the painting wearing costumes appropriate to each period. They then used iPads to produce carefully choreographed stop motion animations of the story using their models, recording atmospheric sound effects to match the time period they had chosen.
Applying twenty-first century technology to the seventeenth century painting allowed the children to develop their ideas in a really wide range of creative ways. That is the real beauty of our annual Take One Picture project.