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Take One Picture: Primary School Children Inspired by Veronese

Issued: April 2012

Room E
9 May – 16 September 2012
Admission Free

“It sort of feels like a bit of that painting is in me now.”
Matthew, aged 11, Bishop’s Tachbrook Church of England Primary School, Warwickshire

“We might remember the painting even when we are really old.”
Archie Kent, aged 5, The New School Exeter, Devon

Children from across England will have their work showcased at the National Gallery this summer in 'Take One Picture'.

Each year the Take One Picture scheme invites UK primary schools to use a National Gallery painting as a creative catalyst for learning across the curriculum. In 2011–12 Paolo Veronese’s Family of Darius before Alexander, one of the largest pictures in the collection, was the focus for hundreds of school communities. Works from 30 participating schools – the smallest of which has just 54 pupils – are represented in this year’s resulting display.

It features a wide range of responses to Veronese’s work, including oral storytelling, three-dimensional art, textiles and digital animation. A role-play area of an artist’s studio is also part of the show this year, complete with easel, stool and wicker chest with costumes. Visitors will be able to play in this special area during programmed events.

Veronese was one of the leading painters in Venice in the 16th century, renowned for his decorative colour and brilliant illusionistic effects. The painting shows the family of King Darius III of Persia kneeling before Alexander the Great just after his victory at the Battle of Issus in 330BC. Following Darius’s exile, his family has come to ask mercy from Alexander and his invading army.

The painting inspired a wealth of discussion and investigation around the story depicted, the artist’s techniques, and objects within spaces. The project has encouraged exploration across different areas of the curriculum, including art, textiles, English, maths, science and history. Andy Brettell, Head Teacher at Bishop’s Tachbrook Church of England Primary School, Warwickshire, says:

“All the children really loved this project which led to endless discussion between different age groups. It provided some unique opportunities for very high quality learning.”

Take One Picture exemplifies the importance of the arts in education, and demonstrates the value of providing memorable experiences and creative opportunities for children’s learning and well-being. Ali Mawle, Head of Schools at the National Gallery, says:

“The National Gallery display transforms Veronese’s painting from a two-dimensional object to a three-dimensional experience. You can’t fail to look at the painting differently once you have experienced it through the eyes of children. The aim is that the pictures will continue to inspire the children throughout their lives.”

Take One Picture is generously supported by The Dorset Foundation and by the Tavolozza Foundation.

The schools represented in the 2012 display are:

All Saints Primary School, Putney, London
Ashton-under-Hill First School, Worcestershire
Bishop’s Tachbrook Church of England Primary School, Warwickshire
Bude Park Primary School, Hull
Caversham Park Primary School, Berkshire
Downhills Primary School, Haringey, London
Drayton Park Primary School, Islington, London
Dr Thomlinson Church of England Middle School, Northumberland
Friars Primary School, Essex
Gainsborough Parish Church Primary School, Lincolnshire
Horningsham Primary School, Wiltshire
Kew Green Preparatory School, London
King Edward’s Junior School, Bath
Nocton Community Primary School, Lincolnshire
St Andrew’s Church of England Primary School, Bath
The New School Exeter, Devon
Wychwood Church of England Primary School, Oxfordshire

For further press information please contact / 020 7747 2865

Notes to Editors

About the National Gallery’s collection and education at the Gallery

The National Gallery is one of the greatest art galleries in the world. Founded by Parliament in 1824, the Gallery houses the nation’s collection of Western European paintings from the late 13th to the early 20th century. No other collection possesses such consistent quality, nor better tells the story of Western European painting.
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. Around 5 million people visit the National Gallery each year. Almost all of the 2,300 paintings in the National Gallery’s collection are on permanent display. The collection represents the greatest Western European painters including van Eyck, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Turner, Rembrandt, Degas, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Rubens, Velázquez, Van Dyck, Titian and Bellini. 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 programmes run by the department show, among other things, how the National Gallery’s collection has the potential for inspiring individual creativity.