Featured Work of Art
Marco del Buono Giamberti (Italian, Florentine, 1402–1489) and Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso (Italian, Florentine, 1415/17–1465)
The Story of Esther, 1460–70
Tempera and gold on wood
17 1/2 x 55 3/8 in. (44.5 x 140.7 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1918 (18.117.2)
Collection Areas: European Art; Italian Art
Subject Areas: Visual Arts, English Language Arts
Grades: Elementary School
Topic/Theme: Stories in Art
Students will be able to
- use observation and interpretation skills to analyze narrative elements in a painting; and
- visually convey a story through the use of characters, pose, and setting.
Visual Arts – Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
Visual Arts – Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
Visual Arts – Choosing and Evaluating a Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
Visual Arts – Making Connections between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
English Language Arts – Communication Skills
English Language Arts – Applying Knowledge
English Language Arts – Evaluating Data
Questions for Viewing
- What do you notice about the figures in the scene (clothing, attributes, pose, etc.)?
- In what activities are they engaged?
- Find one figure that is repeated. What similarities and differences do you notice in the representations? Why do you think the artist chose to include some figures multiple times?
- Take a moment to explore the setting. What do you see? Does it remind you of a specific place?
- If this painting were a story, how would you describe the beginning, middle, and end? What details support your ideas?
Strike three poses and take note of the overall shape of your body. Cut out one shape reflecting each pose. Imagine these shapes are characters and make up a story about them that has a beginning, middle, and end. Recreate a scene from the story by pasting your characters onto another sheet of paper and add a background using crayons, pencils, or markers. Last, write your story or create speech bubbles for the characters in your scene.
Materials: Two sheets of paper (different colors), scissors, glue sticks
Activity Setting: Classroom
Arkenberg, Rebecca, Rika Burnham, Deborah Krohn, Kent Lydecker, Bosilijka Raditsa, and Teresa Russo. The Art of Renaissance Europe: A Resource for Educators. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. Download the resource.
Febbraro, Flavio, and Burkhard Schwetje. How to Read World History in Art. New York: Abrams, 2010.
"Marco del Buono Giamberti and Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso: The Story of Esther (18.117.2)." In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (November 2008)
Pre-Visit Guide for Teachers: European Paintings (15th–18th Century) (PDF)
Sider, Sandra. Handbook to Life in Renaissance Europe. New York: Facts on File, 2005.
Silver Plate with David and Goliath, 629–30
Byzantine, made in Constantinople
Diam. 19 7/16 x 2 5/8 in. (49.4 x 6.6 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.396)
Author: Adapted from The Art of Renaissance Europe: A Resource for Educators
Affiliation: The Metropolitan Museum of Art