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Take One Picture

A display of work by primary schools inspired by the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio's 'Tobias and the Angel'

Issued: April 2011

11 May – 25 September 2011
Room G
Admission Free

Primary school children from across the UK will have their work showcased at the National Gallery this spring in 'Take One Picture'. The display will feature creative responses to the National Gallery painting 'Tobias and the Angel' by the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio.

The National Gallery’s Take One Picture scheme invites UK primary schools to use a painting from the collection as a creative catalyst for learning across the curriculum. Over 100 schools took part in the scheme in 2009–10, and works from over 20 schools will be on display. Additional works from other schools will also be shown in a slideshow as part of the presentation.

Verrocchio was a successful painter and sculptor during his lifetime. Several well-known artists trained in his workshop, including Leonardo da Vinci, who may be responsible for some parts of the painting including the lively dog. The subject of 'Tobias and the Angel' (about 1470–75) is taken from the apocryphal Book of Tobit. Tobias sets out on a long journey, from Nineveh (in modern-day Iraq) to Media (in Iran), to collect a debt for Tobit, his blind father. He is guided by the guardian angel Raphael, protector of the young, travellers and the blind. When Tobias bathes in the River Tigris, a giant fish leaps from the water. Raphael encourages Tobias to remove the fish’s gall bladder, liver and heart in order to heal his father’s blindness.

Works to be displayed reflect different aspects of the story of Tobias, and participating schools have responded to the painting in many original ways. Works include a multi-sensory tactile book for blind and partially sighted children; a giant scrap-metal guardian angel; a large-scale woven installation evoking Tobias’s journey through weaving and dance; a multi-sensory film retelling the story of Tobias by children at a special school; plus sculptures in many different mediums including brick and glass.

Caroline Marcus, Take One Picture Project Manager, said:

'This year, teachers and pupils have explored lines of enquiry stimulated by the painting including journeys, guardian angels, blindness, friendship, fish and healing. They have responded in innovative and original ways across all areas of the curriculum including literacy, history, art, PE, science and maths. A highlight has been the opportunity to visit some schools and see first-hand classrooms as hubs of creativity and inspiring teaching and learning.’

The schools represented in the 2011 display are:

Ashdell Preparatory School, Sheffield
Barnett Wood Infant School, Surrey
Bridge and Patrixbourne C of E Primary School, Kent
Castle Hill Special School, Huddersfield
Cawston Grange Primary School, Rugby
Deansfield Primary School, London
Dunmow St. Mary’s Primary School, Essex
Fairholme School, Middlesex
Gawber Primary School, South Yorkshire
Hawes Down Infant School, Kent
Hilltop Infant School, Essex
Lingey House Primary School, Gateshead
Little Gaddesden C of E Primary School, Hertfordshire
Milbourne Lodge School, Surrey
Somerford Primary School, Dorset
St. Cuthbert’s C of E Primary School, Leicester
St. Mark’s C of E Primary School, East Sussex
Summerfield School, Milton Keynes
Sunnyhill Primary School, London
Velmead Junior School, Hampshire

Exhibiting schools will be offered the chance to visit the Gallery for special private views during the summer term.

The Take One Picture scheme is generously supported by The Dorset Foundation and Christoph and Katrin Henkel.

For press information please contact Karen Bosomworth / 0207 747 2865.

Notes for editors

More about Take One Picture

Since 1995 the National Gallery has challenged primary schools from across the UK to use paintings in the classroom as a focus for cross-curricular teaching and learning. Hundreds of schools have taken up this challenge and many of these submit work to the 'Take One Picture' display each year. Each year a different painting from the National Gallery Collection is chosen as a starting point.

Using a painting as a springboard for learning is at the heart of the National Gallery’s Initial Teacher Education programme. Entering its ninth year, the successful scheme provides opportunities for trainee teachers in partnership with the National Gallery. Other galleries taking part include The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Nottingham Castle; Leeds Art Gallery; and Roehampton, Oxford Brookes, Edge Hill, Nottingham Trent and Leeds Metropolitan universities.

About Education at the National Gallery

Founded by Parliament in 1824, the Gallery houses the nation’s collection of Western European paintings from the late 13th to early 20th centuries. No other collection possesses such consistent quality, nor tells the story of Western European painting better. The collection belongs to the nation and serves a diverse public from the UK and overseas. It is open to all, 361 days of the year, free of charge. Between 4 and 5 million people visit the National Gallery each year. The Gallery’s key objectives are to enhance the collection, care for the collection and provide the best possible access to visitors.

The Education Department was set up about 30 years ago. The varied programmes organised by the department are designed to show how the National Gallery’s collection has the potential for inspiring individual creativity. The National Gallery has a responsibility to everyone, not just those who already understand how to enjoy the collection.

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