Leonardo or Raphael?

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Class 7 Visit the National Gallery in London

Last week, Class 7 took the train to London to visit the National Gallery. In their Main Lesson block, they have been looking at three of the master artists of the Renaissance - Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. This trip was their opportunity to stand and look at some of their paintings for real, rather than just in books or on a screen.

Once at the gallery, the class formed 3 small groups and each went off in search of one of the artists - Room 2, Room 8, and Room 66 to be precise! The National Gallery is vast and it would have been overwhelming to try to look at everything. After spending time in each of these rooms, looking closely at just a few paintings by one artist, and selecting a single favourite painting to talk about in more depth, the pupils met up again. The whole class then went to look at the selected 3 paintings to see what they could see.

Class 7 Trip London National Gallery Leonardo

From the Leonardos they chose the evocative 'Virgin of the Rocks', or to give it its full title 'The Virgin with the Infant Saint John the Baptist adoring the Christ Child accompanied by an Angel'. There are caves in the background and most of the group liked the colours and the way it is painted.

In Room 8, the group were drawn not to a Michelangelo painting, but to a huge painting telling a mythical story- 'The Death of Eurydice' by Niccolò dell'Abate. The pupils in this group loved the landscape and the way the buildings in the city are painted. They also pointed out the tiny snake, shown at the bottom of the painting, which killed Eurydice in the story.

Raphael's 'An Allegory: Vision of a Knight' was the smallest of all the paintings Class 7 looked at. The group that chose this one said they liked the colours, the background and the way he'd painted the figures. They also liked the way he'd used symbols of knightly virtues in the painting - a flower to show love and a sword to show strength.

After the gallery, there was time for exploring the street paintings in Trafalgar Square, a quick look at the thumbs up on the Fourth Plinth and a short walk to Covent Garden. An escapologist kept everyone smiling as he told jokes all the way through escaping from a tennis racket and chains! Then a walk back across the bridge to Waterloo, and onto the train home - here are some photos from the day:

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