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Italian Renaissance Learning Resources

In collaboration with the National Gallery of Art

Picturing Family and Friends


Picturing Family and Friends Activity Guide

Picturing Family and Friends Activity Guide

The activity guides for each unit contain several activities organized around the theme of the unit. The guides provide detailed instruction and additional materials like figures, worksheets, handouts, or readings for incorporating activities into a classroom setting. Each activity also corresponds with a different academic level (Elementary / Intermediate / Advanced), which is noted next to the title of the activity.

PDF Download: Picturing Family and Friends – Activity Guide

  1. Design a Wedding Cassone (Intermediate) – Students select images from museum collections to “reassemble” a cassone (marriage chest), and then design one for themselves using contemporary imagery.
  2. Dowries (Advanced) – Dowries were a normal part of marriage negotiations in Renaissance Italy and remain important in some cultures. In this activity, students research contemporary dowry customs.
  3. BFF (Elementary) – Students consider Renaissance ideals of friendship and their own, and then create a double portrait of themselves with a best friend.
  4. What are they Selling? (Advanced) – Most of the art presented in this unit “sells” a certain image of self, family, or a relationship of some kind. In this activity, students decode a contemporary advertisement using the same skills of visual analysis by which viewers of Renaissance art perceived the motivations of art makers.