art masterpiece: woodville

Art Masterpiece is an art appreciation program offered to elementary children by parent volunteer guides. The goal is to help students look, think and talk about great masterpieces of art. I'm a volunteer guide and I am sharing my art discussions with you in this weekly post.  Hope you enjoy it!

Waiting for the Stage by Richard Caton Woodville

This picture was enjoyable for the kids because it is a narrative, giving a peek into a moment in history. The clothes, beards and the stage coach were all things we can discuss and compare/contrast to today.

About the Artist: Richard Caton Woodville.came from a wealthy Baltimore family. He went to school to be a doctor but, then decided he didn’t want to be a doctor. At 20, he went to Europe to study art. Richard produced most of his work after leaving Baltimore in 1845 and traveled to Germany, France & England.

This painting is called Waiting for the Stage and was painted in the 1800’s. 

Do you know what a “stage” meant back in the 1800’s? It was short for stage coach. (show picture, compare to how we travel today)

Who’s going to ride the stage? How do you know?
The one man's bag is leaning beside him on the floor, ready to go when the stage arrives.

Do you think they are traveling together?  

Where do you think they are going? 

Would you like to have lived during this period of time, the 1800's? 

How do the people look? Do you think they are tired of waiting? We have all had to wait at some time and had to find ways to pass the time.

What are they doing to pass the time?
One man reads the newspaper, while the other two men are engaged in a game of cards. Can you tell who is winning?

Sometimes to examine art we have to be detectives:
  • Find the man wearing double scarves?
  • What is under the man's beard?
  • Can you find plates on the shelf?
  • How many shelves do you see?
  • How many spoons do you see?
  • What kind of place are they in?
  • Find the candle, what is it setting on?
  • Find the coat rack, what is on it?
  • Find the key.
  • Find the man with the glasses, what is the name of the paper?
  • Find a string, what is hanging from it? (sponge for cleaning slate)
  • How many hats do you see?
  • What is hanging above fireplace?
  • Which one is married? How do you know? Find a wedding ring.
  • Find the red bricks, how many?
  • Can you see the cracks? What do you think they are there? 
 In Waiting for the Stage, Richard Woodville created a setting in which most spectators could picture themselves by including many details to enrich the story.

Would you like to be in this picture?

Do you know what colors are warm colors and what colors are cool colors?

Warm = Red, Orange, Yellow Brown
Cool = Blue, Green, Purple, Black

Are the colors warm or cool? Woodville's rich, warm hues and subtle shading enhance the familiar homey feeling we get from this painting. 

What direction is the light coming from? Do you think it us from the sun or indoor lights?

Does the picture look clearer up close or far away?

How does this painting make you feel?

Why do you think the artist painted it? Richard Woodville is known a “daily life painter”. He painted people in their every day lives to capture a moment in time.

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