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Oklahoma Agriculture in the Classroom

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Agriculture in Art

Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin (1699-1799)

Wild Strawberries Wild Strawberries

Chardin was born in Paris, the son of a cabinetmaker, and rarely left the city. Chardin painted humble scenes that deal with simple, everyday activities. He used blocky simple forms perfectly organized in space, and few colors, mostly earth tones. He was a master of textures, shapes, and the soft diffusion of light. Largely self-taught, he was greatly influenced by the realism and subject matter of the 17th-century Low Country masters. Today his paintings hang in the Louvre and other major museums. He is much admired for his still life work and portraiture in pastels. He was one of Henri Matisse's most admired painters.

Discussion and Activities
  • What shapes do you find in this painting?
  • Discuss the light and shadows.
  • What is the predominant color?
  • What is the contrasting color?
  • What other colors do you find?
  • What is the mood of the painting?
  • Discuss the depth perception.
  • How would the picture be different without the glass of water, the white carnations, the cherries and the peach.
  • Is there anything like a horizon in this painting? Where is it?
  • Create your own still life by arranging strawberries or other fruit. Select additional objects to display with the fruit. Draw or photograph your arrangement.
  • Write a detailed description of this painting.
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