We are scheduled to study Van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear” this week. A pretty heavy lesson for a four year old and a two year old. I’m not afraid to cover the harder topics and themes with my kids and adapt it to their understanding (they understand so much more than we think they do), but I don’t want to get too somber, either.
I told them that his ear got cut off and mentioned that Van Gogh was often sick in his mind the way we sometimes get sick in our bodies. But I did NOT tell the details of the story: that he cut his own ear off and handed it to a friend at the bar because he was so upset about the fight they had just had. (GROSS!)
My son transitioned Van Gogh into the story of Peter cutting the soldier’s ear off and Jesus healing it.
Phew! Anyhow, I pulled out my Usborne First Book of Art and read the pages on “Faces” and self-portraits. We looked at Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s painting “Summer” which is a painting of fruits and vegetables made to look like a person’s profile.
So we did a funny fruit face of our own.
I cut out a couple of big faces that I found in some magazine adds, plus lots of fruit and vegetable and flower pictures from magazines. Then, we matched the shapes of the fruit to the shapes of the facial features—and did a lot of laughing!
It made an extremely somber lesson very preschool-friendly!