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Visual arts enables students to express themselves creatively as they grow in their ability to explore, imagine, and represent their understandings of the world through artworks. Foundational knowledge and understanding of the elements and principles of art supports students in developing visual arts literacy and skills. Through creative processes, students learn that individual and collaborative art making fosters meaningful artistic expression. Creating and presenting artworks allows students to express ideas, feelings, and experiences by using artistic vocabulary, skills, media, and methods. Appreciating, interpreting, and responding to works of art prepares students to understand and appreciate enduring historical, cultural, and contemporary works of art and artists.
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Grade 3
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Grade 5
Organizing Idea
Foundational Elements and Principles: Visual arts literacy is developed through knowledge and application of foundational elements and principles.
Guiding Question
How can an understanding of colour and texture contribute to artworks?
Guiding Question
How can colour and texture enhance artworks when combined with other elements of art?
Guiding Question
How can colour be applied and altered for a purpose in artworks?
Learning Outcome
Students analyze colour as an element of art.

Students examine various ways in which texture can be represented in artworks.
Learning Outcome
Students interpret the role of colour in artworks.
Students evaluate how texture can contribute to detail within a composition.
Learning Outcome
Students analyze colour for its versatility in communicating meaning in artworks.
Colour is a visual response to wavelengths of light.

Colour can seem to change in value when light is varied.

Colour can be detected as part of the visible spectrum, as seen in rainbows and prisms.

Hue is the generic name for a colour and defines the purest state of a colour within the visible spectrum.

The visible spectrum includes the colours
  • red
  • orange
  • yellow
  • green
  • blue
  • indigo
  • violet
The use of light in artworks can be seen in
  • Elioth Gruner, Spring Frost, 1919
  • James Chapin, Ruby Green Singing, c. 1928
  • Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, c. 1660
Colour is light that is reflected from an object.
Skills & Procedures
Examine how artists use colour in a variety of artworks.

Explore how light can change the way colour is perceived.
A light value of a colour is a tint and a dark value is a shade.

Tints and shades can be created by adding a neutral colour to a pure hue.

Neutral colours range from white through grey to black.

The value of a colour can increase or decrease in lightness or darkness, known as gradation.

Adjusting the value of a colour can provide contrast in artworks.

Value can give the illusion of mass or volume in two-dimensional works of art.

When colours with different values or hues are placed next to each other in a composition, the illusion of an edge, a shape, or a line can emerge.

A monochromatic colour originates from a single hue and can be developed using shades and tints, as seen in
  • Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, 1907
  • Hendrick van Anthonissen, Shipping in a Gale, c. 1656
Colour has the physical property of value.

Value indicates the lightness or darkness of a colour.
Skills & Procedures
Explore how to create tints, shades, and gradation.

Observe and discuss how artists employ value in a variety of artworks.

Experiment with how to apply monochromatic colour to artworks.

Investigate how colour and value can create contrast in artworks.

Examine how the illusion of mass or volume can be created by adjusting value.
Intensity indicates the purity or strength of a colour.

Colours are usually most intense before they are mixed with others.

A colour can appear more intense by placing it beside a complementary colour.

Mixing a colour with its complement reduces intensity and is known as neutralizing a colour.

When a colour is neutralized it produces neutral colours including brown or grey.

Artists can use intensity within a composition to direct a viewer’s gaze.

In the painting by Pablo Picasso, Le Gourmet, c. 1901, intense colours are used to create a focal point around the child eating.
Colour has the physical property of intensity.

Intensity is the brightness or dullness of a colour.
Skills & Procedures
Mix colours to differentiate between value and intensity.

Apply colours with varying values and intensities to artworks.
Many variations of colours can be created by mixing colours.

Colours can complement other colours.

The proportion of colour used when mixing a new colour can affect the resulting colour.

The use of secondary colours in artworks can be seen in
  • Helen Frankenthaler, Blue Atmosphere, c. 1963
  • Mark Rothko, Red, Orange, Tan and Purple, c. 1954
  • Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Landscape, c. 1892
Colour can be used to create emphasis, focal points, and contrast, as seen in Diego Rivera, La Piñata, n.d.
Colour is an element of art that is categorized into
  • primary colours, including red, blue, and yellow
  • secondary colours, including orange, purple, and green
Secondary colours are created by mixing two primary colours.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with colour mixing and application of colour.

Apply colour to create focus through the use of contrast or emphasis in artworks.

Evaluate the use of primary and secondary colours in various artworks.

Describe how colour can enhance the visual effect of an artwork.

Apply various colour combinations in a composition.
Colour can express or represent feelings and create mood.

Colour can be described as having temperature that is
  • warm, which includes red, orange, and yellow
  • cool, which includes blue, green, and violet
Warm and cool colours in an artwork can have an emotional effect for a viewer.

Examples of warm colours can be seen in
  • Ted Harrison, Flying South, 1993
  • Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers, c. 1888
Examples of cool colours can be seen in
  • Alex Colville, To Prince Edward Island, 1965
  • Katsushika Hokusai, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, c. 1829–1832
Harmony is a principle of design that can be achieved by combining colours that are pleasing to the eye.

Combining colours can create a sense of harmony or contrast in artworks, as seen in Tom Thomson, The Jack Pine, 1916–1917.

Colours can be interpreted to complement another colour, including the colour pairs
  • yellow–violet
  • red–green
  • blue–orange
Two complementary colours will create a neutral colour when mixed.
Colour can impact the viewer’s response to an artwork.

People have different colour preferences.
Skills & Procedures
Describe how the use of warm and cool colours contributes to a composition.

Explore how colour can create harmony or contrast in artworks.

Explore the effect in using warm and cool colours in artworks.

Assess the use of colour in artworks to represent feelings and create mood.

Express preferences related to the use of colour in artworks.

Experiment with how to create neutral colours by mixing complementary colours.
Colour relationships are described as analogous, monochromatic, primary, secondary, and complementary.

Primary, secondary, and complementary colours can be found on a colour wheel.

Complementary colours are those placed opposite each other on the colour wheel.

Analogous colours are groups of three colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel.

Contrast can be created by placing a secondary colour next to a primary colour.

Tints and shades can be created by adding white or black to a colour, as seen in
  • James McNeill Whistler, Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (also known as Whistler’s Mother), c. 1871
  • Pablo Picasso, The Tragedy, 1903
Warm colours can be found on the red/yellow side of the colour wheel.

Cool colours can be found on the blue/green side of the colour wheel.
There is a relationship between colours, which can be represented on a colour wheel.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between warm and cool colours on the colour wheel.

Explore the relationships of colours.

Create artworks using the colour wheel as a tool in choosing a colour palette.
Texture can be created by layering or combining line, shape, and colour.

Tools, techniques, materials, and media can be used and combined to create texture.

Hatching and cross-hatching can create texture through the use of line.

Paint can be applied either thick or thin to create a desired textural effect.

Texture can be applied to two- and three-dimensional works of art as seen in
  • Justin Gaffrey, Seascapes Collection, c. 2018–2020
  • The Ife Head, Yoruba, c. 13th century CE
Examples of texture in various artworks can include
  • Claude Monet, Tulip Field in Holland, c. 1886
  • Justin Gaffrey, Seascapes Collection, c. 2018–2020
  • Mary Pratt, Red Currant Jelly, c. 1972
  • Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait, c. 1889
Texture is an element that is present in works of art.

Texture can be used to create visual interest or illusions in artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Apply texture to two- and three-dimensional works of art.

Use visual arts vocabulary to describe how texture can be used to create an effect in artworks.
Pigments used in artworks today are typically manufactured.

Natural pigments come from the land and can be found in plants, animals, and minerals, including
  • clay
  • hematite, an ore of iron in the colours black, silver, grey, brown, or red
  • charcoal
Pigments are coloured materials that are typically insoluble in water, unless ground into a fine powder first.

Pigments are added to paints to give them colour.

The colour quality or pigment may vary within different media.
Colour is determined by the pigments in an object or a material.
Skills & Procedures
Investigate where natural pigments come from and how they were used in the past.
The significance of colour can be reflected in cultural or symbolic associations, as seen in Jane Ash Poitras, Mikisew Spirit, 2019.

Colour value can indicate meaning, including the following:
  • Dark colours can suggest a lack of light and convey a mood of seriousness.
  • Bright colours suggest positive energy and more light.
  • Red can represent anger, danger, or love.
  • Orange can represent creativity or energy.
Local colour captures the likeness of an object.

Expressive colour is used to communicate mood or artistic choice.

Opaque colour blocks light and can be adjusted to suggest heaviness.

Transparent colour lets some wavelengths of light come through and suggests lightness.

Watercolour is the most transparent paint.

A wash can be created by adding water to paint in order to make it more transparent.

Colours such as yellow are naturally more transparent than other colours.

Colours such as red are naturally more opaque than other colours.

Oil, acrylic, and gouache are the most opaque paints.
Colour is a meaningful and expressive element of art.

Colour can be represented and interpreted in a variety of ways.
Skills & Procedures
Examine how colour can communicate meaning or mood in artworks.

Experiment with opaque and transparent colour.

Create artworks using colour symbolically.
Actual texture is how an object feels when touched.

Characteristics of texture can be described using words, including
  • wrinkled or smooth
  • soft or rough
  • furry or coarse
Simulated texture gives the impression of how something would feel when touched, as seen in Albrecht Dürer, Young Hare, c. 1502.

Texture exists on natural and manufactured objects.

The texture of an object appeals to some individuals but not to others.
Texture has characteristics or surface qualities that are unique to an object.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between actual and simulated texture in artworks and the surrounding environment.

Describe preferences related to texture viewed in artworks.
Texture can be inviting, by eliciting a positive response such as curiosity, or less inviting, by provoking a negative response such as disgust.

Texture can be applied to artworks in a subtle or an exaggerated way.

Several textures can be applied to create contrast for effect.

Collage is a kind of artwork created by using a variety of materials that can vary in texture, including
  • paper
  • photographs
  • fabric
  • yarn
  • plastics
Fabric art is created by using materials that have texture, including
  • fibres or yarn
  • thread and needle to create stitching
  • tie-dye
  • batik or resist dyeing
Texture can create an effect in artworks, as seen in
  • Christi Belcourt, Nathalie, 2014
  • Faith Ringgold, Woman on a Bridge #1 of 5: Tar Beach, c. 1988
Texture contributed to historical architecture, as seen in
  • Alhambra Palace, Spain
  • Dome of the Rock, Mosque of Omar, Jerusalem
  • Taj Mahal, India
Texture can create a visual effect that is realistic and creates mood in artworks.

Texture can enhance the visual impact of artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Explore how texture can be used to create a visual effect.

Describe how the use of texture can elicit a response from a viewer.

Use various materials to create texture in artworks.

Use visual arts vocabulary to discuss how texture exists in three-dimensional works of art.
Principles of design can be applied to colour to create focus.

Colour can be used to create focus, as seen in Ted Harrison, Visitor from Space, 1988.

Balance in artwork includes symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial.

Radial balance creates an even pattern of image that radiates from a central point, as seen in mandalas.

Warm colours tend to advance a focal point while cool colours tend to recede.

Colour can be combined with line to create a focal point, including
  • converging lines
  • atmospheric perspective
  • linear perspective and one-point perspective to create an illusion of space in two-dimensional works of art
  • horizon lines
Colour draws the eye to focus on a point in the artwork.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how colour can be used as a focal point or as a means to direct the eye when viewing artworks.

Experiment with how to create focal points in artworks.

Make artistic choices that demonstrate the use of focal points in artworks.

Examine the use of perspective in various artworks.

Incorporate perspective in artworks.
Colour when combined with other elements of art can create illusion, including
  • a sense of depth, contour, or weight by using light and dark shades
  • depth of field and colour value through washes of colour
  • line and space—atmospheric perspective
  • light and depth—colours in the foreground look brighter and more intense than colours in the background
Atmospheric perspective is the illusion of space in landscape paintings, often featuring the use of light colours in the distance, as seen in Albert Bierstadt, Among the Sierra Nevada, California, 1868.

Light and shadow can create the illusion of three-dimensional forms, as seen in Willem Claesz Heda, Banquet Piece with Mince Pie, 1635.
Colour can create illusions in artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Explore how colour can be used to create illusions in artworks.

Adjust colour to suggest an effect of light or shadow.

Adjust colour and value when illustrating the illusion of space and depth in the foreground, middle ground, and background of landscape artworks.
Organizing Idea
Creating and Presenting: Ideas can be represented through artworks that draw upon foundational visual arts knowledge.
Guiding Question
How can messages in visual arts reflect what we value and understand?
Guiding Question
How can a narrative contribute to creating and presenting artworks?
Guiding Question
How can narrative in visual arts contribute to understanding diverse stories and experiences?
Learning Outcome
Students represent messages through artistic choices related to the elements of art.
Learning Outcome
Students employ narrative as a structure for organizing ideas in artworks.
Learning Outcome
Students represent narrative in artworks based on a variety of inspirations and through the application of artistic choices.
Tools, techniques, materials, and media can be used in traditional and non-traditional ways to create a message.

New methods of creating art can be revealed through experimentation and unexpected discoveries.

A message in visual arts can convey meaning through the use of illusions in artworks.

Illusions such as depth, distance, or movement can be created through
  • line—linear or one-point perspective
  • colour—gradation
  • texture—hatching, cross-hatching, layering
  • shape—layering, overlapping, changing size and position on the picture plane
  • value—tints and shades
The use of colour, including black and white, can create optical illusions in art when combined with shape, space, and lines.

Line can be used to create depth and distance as seen in landscapes that feature middle ground, background, and foreground.

Principles of design, including emphasis and contrast, can guide the way that artists use the elements of art to create a message.
Artists intentionally choose ways to effectively share a message.

Artists can combine the elements of art in an infinite number of ways to communicate a message.
Skills & Procedures
Create artworks through experimental and informed artistic choices.

Explore how colour, line, shape, and texture can be combined for a purpose in artworks.

Experiment with how the principles of design can enhance the communication of a message.

Create artworks that feature illusions of depth, distance, or movement.

Explore a variety of ways to create two- and three-dimensional works of art that reflect a message.
Inspiration for a narrative may come from
  • stories
  • music
  • various forms of media
  • real people or characters
  • experiences
  • imagination
  • the environment
A narrative in visual arts may or may not represent a sequence of events in the order in which they happened.

A variety of media can be used to illustrate the order of events in a narrative, including storyboards, paintings, and fabric arts.

Pictures can be grouped in sets (diptych or triptych) as seen in
  • Andrew Salgado, 20 Years, 2014
  • Robert Campin, The Merode Altarpiece, c. 1427–1432
A narrative in art can be depicted in two- and three-dimensional works, as seen in
  • Basawan and Chetar Munti, Akbar’s Adventure with the Elephant Hawa’i, c. 1561
  • Helen Granger Young, The Famous Five Monument, c. 2010
The structure of a narrative in visual arts can be represented using motifs, metaphors, and themes.
A narrative in artworks can be illustrated as a partial or whole representation.

A narrative can be factual or fictitious.
Skills & Procedures
Choose an inspiration for representing a narrative.

Create two- and three-dimensional works of art to convey a narrative.
The structure of a narrative in artworks can depict a beginning, a problem, and a resolution.

The structure of a narrative told through artworks can be similar to the structure of a narrative in text.

Narrative can be represented individually or collectively.

A variety of media, including digital art, graffiti, and animation, can be used to illustrate a narrative.
A narrative can be structured to describe the past, the present, or the future.
Skills & Procedures
Create two- and three-dimensional works of art based on a narrative.

Create artworks individually and collectively.
Messages can represent a variety of things, including ideas, experiences, and feelings.

Inspiration for creating a message in visual arts can come from a variety of sources, including other artists or artworks, imagination, or stories.

The circle is a symbol that can communicate a message in visual arts, including connection, unity, and cycles.

The circle in First Nations, Métis, or Inuit visual art forms is used to symbolize elements and patterns of the natural world.

Messages in visual arts can be conveyed through the use of patterns, signs, and symbols.

Creative processes can help an artist clarify what they mean to communicate.

The message an artist intends to communicate through an artwork can be clarified
  • through the use of titles and descriptions
  • by stepping back to view and reflect on the artwork
  • by discussing the artwork with others
Messages can evoke different responses from a viewer based on their beliefs, preferences, and feelings.

Artworks can be created for an intended audience.

Some topics or themes represented through artworks can be sensitive to some viewers.
A message is at the centre of communication in visual arts.

Viewing art includes receiving and interpreting messages communicated through artworks.

Messages can represent what an artist means to communicate through artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Create artworks based on an inspiration.

Create a message in artworks through the use of patterns, signs, and symbols.

Create a title and description to accompany a work of art.

Employ creative processes when representing a message in artworks.

Participate as an artist and as an audience member in a variety of visual arts experiences.
Group expression in visual arts can be seen in murals, community artworks, and cultural artifacts.

Points of view or perspectives can reflect ideas, experiences, and culture.

Warm and cool colours can represent feelings in a narrative.

Texture can create mood or evoke an emotional response when incorporated into artworks.

Principles of design, including harmony and contrast, can influence how well the elements of art work together to communicate a narrative.
A narrative can communicate points of view or perspectives of an individual or a group.

Feelings and mood can be interpreted visually through the use of line, shape, and colour.
Skills & Procedures
Create artworks from various perspectives.

Explore how principles of design can enhance communication of a narrative.

Explore how the elements of art can be used to communicate mood or feelings.

Investigate how the elements of art can be used to represent perspective in artworks.
Preservation of cultural and historical narratives can be achieved through the creation of artworks and artifacts.

Art movements are those periods in history where artworks were created with a common goal or style and can include the Renaissance, Impressionism, and Cubism.

A narrative in visual arts is represented in diverse ways across cultures.

Narrative can be expressed through the spirit or life of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks.

Narrative in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks can originate from the land, including
  • wind
  • water
  • soil
  • animals
  • plants
The creation of a narrative can communicate
  • personal experiences
  • stories, legends, myths, and poetry
  • fictional events and characters
  • perspectives
Universal themes that can occur in narratives include survival, redemption, and quest.
A narrative in visual arts can communicate knowledge and understandings about the world.

Narratives can provide connections to culture and history.
Skills & Procedures
Illustrate a narrative based on a variety of events, themes, or inspirations.

Investigate how visual arts have contributed to the preservation of culture in local communities.

Explore how narratives are expressed through First Nations, Métis, or Inuit artworks.

Create artworks inspired by art movements throughout history.
An artist can shape a narrative through the use of
  • elements of art
  • creative processes
  • media
  • tools, techniques, and methods
  • experimentation or informed artistic choices
A curator chooses how artworks are displayed, which can shape the way a narrative is presented.

Additional information about a narrative can be communicated through titles and descriptions about the artwork.

A narrative told through visual arts can be combined with other art forms, including dance, drama, and music.
A narrative in visual arts can be shaped by the artist, curator, or viewer.

A viewer’s reaction to an artwork can be in response to how the artwork is presented or created.
Skills & Procedures
Make experimental and informed artistic choices when creating artworks.

Accompany artworks with titles and descriptions of a narrative.

Experiment with how displaying an artwork can influence how it is viewed.
Artistic choices related to the elements of art and principles of design can be used by an artist to revise and reimagine how a narrative is expressed.

Parts of a narrative in visual arts may be excluded, leaving the audience to assume what happened before and after the narrative was presented.

Titles and descriptions provide additional information about a narrative that can clarify what an artist intends to communicate.

Creative processes can help solve design challenges when creating artworks.
A narrative in visual arts can take the viewer on a journey by entertaining and persuading.

A narrative in visual arts may be perceived by an audience in a way that differs from what the artist intended.
Skills & Procedures
Make artistic choices when revising or reimagining how a narrative can be illustrated.

Evaluate the effectiveness of artistic choices in the communication of a narrative.

Apply creative processes to design challenges.
Organizing Idea
Appreciation: Recognizing beauty, goodness, and truth in visual arts can be developed by understanding the complexity and richness of great artworks, the artists who create them, and the historical and cultural contexts from which they originate.
Guiding Question
How can an understanding of culture contribute to learning about visual arts in ancient Rome and New France?
Guiding Question
What is the role of culture in shaping the visual arts from medieval Europe, medieval Islam, and Alberta?
Guiding Question
How was societal change reflected in visual arts during Colonial Canada, the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation?
Learning Outcome
Students relate visual arts cultures of the past with those of the modern day.
Learning Outcome
Students relate how culture is reflected in visual arts across time and place.
Learning Outcome
Students investigate how changes in societies of the past have influenced the creation and sharing of artworks.
From historical times to today, cultures value artworks for a variety of reasons, including
  • beauty
  • artistic expression
  • cultural or religious expression
  • representation of a culture or society
  • historical documentation
Using vocabulary related to the elements of art can contribute to discussions about art.

Artistic protocols and etiquette may change based on the community, culture, or presentation of artworks.

The topics or themes expressed through artworks may have a particular significance to the culture, time, and place in which the artworks were created.
Artworks are valued differently across cultures throughout history.

Artistic communities can be a venue for artistic expression within various cultures.
Skills & Procedures
Describe how artworks are valued in one’s life and culture.

Demonstrate how to follow artistic protocols and etiquette in various visual arts experiences.

Use visual arts vocabulary when responding to artworks.
Culture can be enhanced when artistic communities participate, communicate, are engaged, and share responsibilities.

The culture of an artistic community can support the caring and respectful inclusion of all participants.
When communities unite through the arts, culture can be learned.

The culture of an artistic community is about shared ways of being together and reaching common goals.
Skills & Procedures
Participate in visual arts as a member of an artistic community.

Demonstrate how artistic roles and responsibilities contribute to a sense of community.
The process through which cultural artworks and artifacts are restored to their rightful people or locations is known as repatriation.

Repatriation of ceremonial and spiritual artifacts allows for communities to reconnect with culture.

Repatriation of First Nations and Inuit ceremonial and spiritual artifacts is occurring from museums and personal collections and includes
  • medicine bundles
  • totem poles
  • amulets
  • ceremonial clothing
  • medicine pipes
  • bentwood boxes
  • masks
  • headdresses
  • rattles
  • thunder pipe bundles
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks were influenced by Europeans in a variety of ways, including
  • introduction of glass beads
  • availability of new materials, such as ores not found in North America
  • production of art for aesthetic and economic purposes
Some artists in Colonial Canada were trained by mentors or teachers in the field of art and handicrafts.

In Colonial Canada, some handicraft artists were also considered tradespeople and included
  • blacksmiths
  • candle makers
  • weavers
  • coopers
  • printers
The Catholic Church established a school where arts and handicrafts were taught in early Colonial Canada.
Visual arts has changed over time as communities and cultures have evolved.

Visual arts in Colonial Canada reflected the changes that occurred in Europe at the same time.
Skills & Procedures
View a variety of Canadian artworks as an inspiration for talking about and creating art.

Investigate community acts of repatriation and cultural revitalization.
Ancient Roman artworks were inspired by the ancient Greeks and other ancient cultures.

Artworks in ancient Rome were valued for their ability to communicate ways of life and historical events.

Semicircular arches were so common among Roman architecture that these arches are now known as Roman arches.

The principles of design, including balance, repetition, and harmony, apply to ancient Roman architecture, and can be seen in
  • Basilica of Maxentius
  • Le Pont du Gard
  • Roman Theatre of Orange
  • The Colosseum
  • The Pantheon
Roman pottery was a functional form of artwork in ancient Rome and was categorized as follows:
  • Fine ware were formal and decorative pottery pieces.
  • Coarse ware were used for daily purposes such as cooking or food storage.
Ancient Roman pottery was engraved and glazed as a form of decoration, unlike Greek pottery that was painted with designs and images.

Ancient Roman artworks have been found preserved in Pompeii and include
  • murals painted into the plastered walls of buildings (frescoes)
  • images made from tiny pieces of glass or ceramic (mosaics)
Ancient Roman culture was reflected through artworks and architecture.

The culture of ancient Rome has an influence on modern day artworks.
Skills & Procedures
View artworks and architecture from ancient Rome as an inspiration for creating art.

Compare art forms and architecture from ancient Rome to those of modern day.
Visual artwork in Alberta has been influenced by the histories and traditions of artists from a variety of cultures.

Petroglyphs are a form of written text that some societies have interpreted as visual art.

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in Alberta has many examples of First Nations petroglyphs.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit share knowledge through artworks that can include
  • stone, wood, and bone carvings
  • pottery
  • embroidery
  • porcupine quillwork
  • birchbark art
  • geometric patterns and motifs on hide
  • beading
  • weaving
  • paintings
The Métis people of Alberta are renowned for their floral beadwork.

Lawren Harris (1885–1970) was a member of an influential group of Canadian artists called the Group of Seven that captured the Alberta landscape in oil paintings.
Visual arts in Alberta can reflect the culture of those who came before us and those who live here now.
Skills & Procedures
Investigate information shared through petroglyphs found in Alberta.

Explore the significance of local artworks.

Create visual art that reflects the history or traditions of Alberta.

Discuss examples of knowledge that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit can share through artworks.
The Renaissance movement was about all people bettering themselves through education, literature, science, and the arts.

At the beginning of the Renaissance, artists were known as craftsmen; later in the Renaissance, they became known as artists.

The Renaissance was a return to creating art in classical styles, inspired by ancient Greece and Rome; examples of Renaissance art and artists can include
  • Albrecht Dürer, Young Hare, c. 1502
  • Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper, c. 1490s, and Mona Lisa, c. 1503
  • Michelangelo, Pietà, c. 1498–1499
  • Raphael (Raffaello Santi), The School of Athens, c. 1508–1511
  • Sandro Botticelli, Adoration of the Magi, c. 1475–1476
The Renaissance art movement featured realism and emotion in artworks by representing light through space and by using shadow and reflection in still-life paintings.

Architectural styles in the Renaissance were borrowed from ancient societies and can include
  • sgraffito—a technique using layers of plaster for wall decor or in ceramics
  • loggia—an architectural feature where the outer wall is open to the outside and sometimes supported by columns or arches
  • arcades—a series of arches supported by columns
Busts, sculptures of a person’s head and torso, and portraiture were popular in the Renaissance and later periods, and can include
  • Donatello, Bust of Niccolò da Uzzano, c. 1430
  • Hans Holbein the Younger, The Ambassadors, c. 1533
  • Raphael, Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione, c. 1514–1515
Linear perspective was used by many Renaissance artists and is still used today by artists to show realistic space.

Artwork often depicted religious themes and subjects during the Renaissance.

Artworks in the Protestant Reformation were a rejection of the religious artworks of the Catholic Church.

Protestant Churches were often plain or painted white.

Many northern European artists during the Protestant Reformation focused on the daily, moral life of people and explored these themes through landscapes, portraits, still lifes, and historical paintings.

Religious artworks became less popular and artists began to create more non-religious (secular) artwork during the Protestant Reformation, as seen in
  • Rachel Ruysch, Basket of Flowers, c. 1711
  • Rembrandt, The Night Watch, c. 1642
The invention of the printing press revolutionized the way books and images were created and shared during the Protestant Reformation.

Because of the printing press, artworks during the Protestant Reformation became more available for people to purchase.

In response to the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church prompted the Counter-Reformation (Council of Trent 1545–1563), which encouraged a return to religious artworks, as seen in
  • St Peter’s Basilica, c. 1506–1615
  • Caravaggio, Supper at Emmaus, c. 1601
Visual arts went through significant change during the Renaissance and Protestant Reformation.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how the artworks of the Renaissance were different from the artworks of the Protestant Reformation.

View a variety of artworks from the Renaissance and Protestant Reformation as an inspiration for talking about and creating art.
First Nations cultures in New France had established artistic traditions prior to the arrival of Europeans, including moose hair tufting, quilling, and embroidery work.

First Nations artworks in New France reflected traditions and beliefs that continue to be honoured and celebrated today by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.

Protocols related to how or with whom artworks are created and shared were part of First Nations cultures in New France and continue to hold significant importance today.

Art forms used in New France continue to be used today, including
  • sculpting
  • painting
  • metal work with gold and silver
  • woodworking
  • textiles
  • printmaking (lithography)
  • stained glass
  • architecture
The building of churches in New France was funded by the churches in Europe and often included
  • stained glass
  • altars
  • statues
  • chalices
The ceinture fléchée is a colourful, patterned sash that emerged as functional clothing from the New France era.

The ceinture fléchée is representative of the cultural heritage of French-Canadians and Métis.
Artworks in New France served a variety of purposes for the diverse groups of people who lived there.

Art forms from New France continue to influence Canadian art today.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how culture is revealed through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks.

View a variety of artworks from French-Canadian artists, past and present, as an inspiration for talking about and creating art.
Medieval European artworks were often based on people and events from religious stories and classical myths, including
  • heroes, heroines, and gods that are still commonly referenced in English literature, in brand names, and in everyday writing and conversation
  • people and events narrated in Jewish and Christian stories
The Book of Kells is a medieval manuscript in which decorations, including images and borders, accompany the text.

Tapestries, including The Unicorn Tapestries, were woven artworks that could communicate information about
  • history
  • legends
  • religious teachings
  • everyday life
Architecture in the Middle Ages was often built with consideration for protecting the people inside the buildings, including castles on rocky hilltops and homes surrounded by walls.

Architectural styles from the Middle Ages still exist today, some of which can be seen in
  • Carolingian—Palatine Chapel
  • Gothic—Westminster Abbey, Old-New Synagogue of Prague, and Hôtel-Dieu
  • Ostrogothic—Basilica of San Vitale
  • Romanesque or Norman—Abbaye de Cluny, Durham Cathedral, and Carcassonne
Gothic cathedrals were built with specific and important architectural styles, including
  • spires
  • pointed arches
  • flying buttresses
  • rose windows
  • stained glass and statues
  • gargoyles
Traditional Gothic cathedrals can be viewed today, as seen in
  • Notre-Dame in Paris, France
  • Our Lady of Chartres in Chartres, France
Artworks in medieval Islam discouraged the use of shapes and detailed patterns to depict the human form.

Islamic artworks used decorative forms of art, including
  • calligraphy
  • folk pottery
  • rugs and carpets

Decorative designs on ceramics and folk pottery included
  • inscriptions and proverbs
  • animals, usually birds from the folkloric past
  • geometric designs
  • abstract patterns
Islamic books or manuscripts were illustrated in a style called illumination, which often featured complex patterns and designs using geometric, botanical, and animal forms.

Silk weaving led to the art form of carpets in Islamic art, which included elaborate patterns and bright colours.

Medieval Islamic architecture can be seen in
  • Alhambra Palace, 1238–1358, in Granada, Spain
  • The Great Mosque of Cordoba, 784–1146 CE
A mosque is a central gathering place required for common prayer and community gatherings.

A hypostyle mosque is an architectural design where the roof rested upon pillars or columns.
Culture was revealed through the artworks of the Middle Ages.
Skills & Procedures
View artworks and architecture from the Middle Ages as an inspiration for talking about and creating art.

Design artworks using the decorative styles of the Middle Ages.