Learn to Love Art: Art Appreciation for Children

by | Art | 2 comments

Here you see a painting by Norwegian painter, Harriet Backer (born 1845, died 1932). It’s called Little Red Riding Hood and Grandmother. Spend a bit of time observing this painting, and then answer the questions below. Since the goal of this study is to learn to love art, I recommend that you answer the questions orally, not with pencil and paper.

Little Red Riding Hood and Grandmother

What is the first thing you see when you look at this painting?
Who do you think sewed this little red hood?
Do you think the little girl likes the little red hood?
Is Grandmother happy with how the little red hood turned out?
Did you know that the artist purposely placed the little red hood at a “center of interest” in the painting — so you would look at it first? ∗
Why is Grandmother’s arm pointing to the little red hood?
Why is the curtain on the back wall draped so it also points to the little red hood?
What sewing equipment does Grandmother have on her table?
Name some of the colors in this painting.
If you could change something or add something to this painting, what would it be?

∗ A “center of interest” is the all-important part of a painting — that part of the picture which attracts the mind. Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid across the painting. Each of the four intersections of the tic-tac-toe lines is a “center of interest.”

Living and Learning at Home


  1. Sara

    These are great questions to teach art appreciation to our kids! We were just talking about emphasis during our own discussion last week. 🙂

  2. Helen

    The only trouble is it’s the grandmothers face not the red hood that I noticed first and that my eyes were drawn too each time. I know this is the way we are supposed to interpret the artist’s painting but it doesn’t always work either for me or my children, we are often drawn first to other aspects of a painting.


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