Teaching Ideas

Encouraging Dialogue

For Students K-12

  • What colors do you see in this painting?

  • How would you describe the expression of the woman in the painting? How do you think she is feeling?

  • Why do you think the artist made the background plain?

  • What stands out to you the most in this painting?

  • Most of the portraits painting by Thomas Eakins were not commissioned, meaning that no one paid him to paint them. This work was not painted for money, but done out of friendship. Does this make you view the painting differently? How so? If you were going to paint a portrait of one of your friends, how would you depict them?

  • What type of brushstrokes did the artist use to paint the pink part of her dress? What type of brush strokes did he use to paint the lace on her dress?