the museum network
Portraits & Portraiture
HomeView PortraitsThemesTimeline<empty>Children's Activities!
Pose and ExpressionSetting and SymbolismStatus and DressMaterialsColour and TechniqueChildhoodTypes of Painting
Banner Image (Detail of Titus)

There are many different kinds of question we can ask when we look at a portrait. Take Anne-Louis Girodet's portrait of Napoleon I on the right for example.

  • What message is Napoleon trying to send about his place in history?
  • What is the significance of the objects around him?
  • How does it feel to hold a pose like that for a long time?
  • How has the artist recreated the rich, flowing texture of Napoleon's robes?
  • What artworks of the past is the artist borrowing from?
  • What, if any, was the conversation like between artist and sitter?

We have created seven themes which will provide you with the broadest possible range of inquiry into the portraits on these pages. Also included in the themes are discussion points and activities to do with your class. Click on the coloured tabs above to find out more.

Anne-Louis Girodet Napoleon I in Coronation Robes after 1804
Anne-Louis Girodet
Napoleon I in
Coronation Robes

after 1804