For art week this week we have been taking part in ‘Take one Picture’, organised by the Nation Gallery. Our focus painting is A Shipwreck in Stormy Seas by Claude-Joseph Vernet.
We started exploring the picture by creating sketches, focusing on really looking at all of the elements in the picture. We were most interested in the people on the shore and the chests they were dragging. We asked ‘What could be in the chests?’. We agreed that the contents must have been precious.
We explored more of the history behind the painting and found that the ships in the painting were merchant ships. The 1700’s, when the painting was painted, were a time of exploration and adventure for some. We discovered that during this time, Europeans were able to visit more of the earth than ever before. Merchants were bringing new goods such as tea and coffee to Europe. These would have been very precious as they couldn’t be grown in local climate. This made us think about where our food and drink comes from. We looked at some items we might find in our kitchen and placed them on a world map.
We were surprised at how far our favourite foods had travelled before they reach our plates.