Teaching Ideas

Encouraging Dialogue

For Students K-12

  • Manet gives special emphasis to Miss Lemonnier's facial expression. Looking at her face, what words would you use to describe her? Look at her body language or act out her pose. What words would you add to your description? How do you think she is feeling?

  • Miss Lemonnier seems to be hurrying across the canvas, or perhaps someone is hurrying by her. What in the painting helps create this sensation?

  • A young Parisian woman might be on her way to do many new, exciting things in 'modern' Paris. What are some of the things a woman might have done in the 1870s? Strolling the tree-lined boulevards, riding in a hot air balloon, having your photograph made, taking a train trip to a Parisian suburb, or shopping in one of the new department stores were all things that were popular in the 1870s.

  • In her hand Isabelle carries a muff, an accessory used to keep hands warm. What does the use of the muff tell us about her or when this portrait was made? What was the weather like or what season was it when she wore this? In Paris, young women sometimes would carry their small dog in their muffs.

  • Imagine you are painting this portrait of Miss Lemmonier. What do you think she is about to say to you? Now imagine you are painting a portrait of you best friend, mother, or teacher. What would you include to make sure your painting captured their personality?