Great Pictures and Their Stories, Volumes 1-9 (volumes 1-8 correspond to grades 1-8 and volume 9 corresponds with junior and senior high) by Katherine Morris Lester is a series of books for studying art masterpieces, using full color art reproductions. There are ten lessons per book, with each lesson including a few pages of discussion and interpretation of the piece of art, the story of the artist, a series of questions for the student, and suggested music selections to accompany each print and reading. These are old books (late 1920’s) and have never been reprinted as far as I can tell. You can purchase copies on Amazon and Ebay and elsewhere, but the price is often high.
Volume 6, which is supposed to be for sixth grade students, features The Jester by Frans Hals, The Mill by Jacob Ruysdael, Flower Girl in Holland by George Hitchcock, View of Ghent by M. Albert Baertsoen, A Dutch Interior by Pieter De Hooch, Fog Warning by Winslow Homer, Joan of Arc by Jules Bastien-LePage, Joan of Arc by Henri Chapu, Christ in the Temple by Heinrich Johann Hofmann, and The Angelus by Jean Francois Millet. We have included here two pages from this sixth volume.
Here is an excerpt from the story of George Hitchcock (volume 6), a famous American painter who painted Dutch landscapes.
George Hitchcock was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1850….As a little fellow eight years old, George Hitchcock had begun to use the brush and paints. With great delight he covered page after page with glorious daubs of crimson, yellow, and blue! He would rather paint than do anything else! Little did he or his parents dream that this was the beginning of the masterpieces he would later weave in these same colors!