Try this for Art

Sir Edwin Landseer’s painting Trial by Jury

Talking point: introduce Landseer as a successful painter of animals and discuss how he has used dogs to represent human personalities.

Practical exercise: use the painting as a springboard to explore representing favourite animals or pets in any media.

Reproduction of a portrait of Elizabeth of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury

Bess of Hardwick was an important woman. Look closely at this portrait and find clues to her power and wealth. Then, think about how portraits can be used to communicate ideas about someone’s identity and status. What objects and clothing will pupils use to represent themselves?

Tom Price’s Counterpart

Explore the house looking for objects that are both artworks and functional. Ask pupils to describe why they have selected each object.

Louis Laguerre’s painted ceiling and upper walls in the Painted Hall

Caesar crossing the Rubicon, High Priest Sacrificing in front of the Capitol, Caesar crossing the English Channel, The Assassination of Caesar

Explore how an artist constructs a narrative or the use of colour to help identify key characters. Discuss how figures (for example Caesar) look powerful or authoritative. Get the children to examine pose, gesture and body language and imagine the dialogue between different characters represented.

The Apotheosis of Caesar (ceiling)

Think about subjects and symbols in art. Get pupils guessing who is who by working out what a symbol or attribute might represent. Then, get them to decide what their attribute or symbol would be and why.

Charles Cordier’s The African Venus

Explore the power of pose, gaze and body language with pupils, and the meanings and feelings they communicate.

Jan Siberechts' painting A View of Chatsworth from the East

Use the painting to develop descriptive vocabulary. Split the painting into strips: bottom, middle and top – and create activities focused on what children can see in the foreground, mid-ground and background. Use the composition as a springboard for discussion and activities about perspective.

Jan van der Vaardt’s Trompe l’oeil Violin

Look at examples of illusion from different artistic periods (from ancient roman wall frescoes to examples of perspective in the Italian Renaissance and different perspective tricks including anamorphic projection). Compare the illusion in the Trompe l’oeil Violin with Picasso’s cubist still life paintings featuring musical instruments.

Valentin de Boulogne’s Three Musicians

Use the painting to develop observational skills – investigate where these men are, what they are doing, who they are performing for. Look at surfaces, light sources, costumes, and different types of musical instruments.

Rembrandt’s Portrait of an Old Man

Build a vocabulary for describing artworks, thinking about light and shade, line and texture and likeness of a person.

Maria Cosway’s Portrait of Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire, as Diana

A real person has been made to look unreal – discuss how the artist has done this and why. Introduce allegory and symbolism and then create artwork to include some objects with symbolic meaning.

Focus on Georgiana’s portrayal as the Goddess Diana, to explore gods and goddesses of antiquity and how we identify them in art. Refer to the ceiling in the Painted Hall for other examples.

Gainsborough’s Portrait of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

Create self-portraits, using photomontage. Try combining present day photographs with reproductions of eighteenth century fashion prints.

Jacob van der Beugel’s North Sketch Sequence

Compare these portraits with something more conventional displayed elsewhere in the house (try searching the Painted Hall, the South Sketch Gallery or the Oak Staircase). Create a self-portrait without drawing a face or body.

Michael Craig Martin’s Portrait of Laura, Countess of Burlington

Trace over a photograph with a black felt pen. Do a lucky dip of nine coloured pens and then use these to complete a self-portrait.

Chinese Wallpaper

Design and create nature-inspired wallpaper. Draw and paint local flowers, trees and birds. Cut out and score foam sheets or carve potatoes to create stencils and use these to print shapes across the paper.

Adam Frans van der Meulen’s Lord William Cavendish, later 4th Earl and 1st Duke of Devonshire (1640-1707) on Horseback

Use the painting as a discussion point about how artists communicate power and status.

John Singer Sargent’s portrait of the Acheson Sisters

Look at an object or person from different angles and discuss how variety helps construct a composition.

Natasha Daintry’s Sowing Colour

Use Sowing Colour to investigate colour relationships and complementary colours.

A Great Dining Experience

Take a look at the portraits around the walls of the Great Dining Room. Choose some guests for your celebration and discuss why they might be enjoyable to sit beside.

Filippo Albacini's scultpure The Wounded Achilles

Build a vocabulary around how artists communicate ideas of heroism, pain and death.

Try this for Design, Technology and IT

Leonardi's Geometric Marble Pavement

Distraction tactics: what kind of decorative solution can pupils come up with to distract from something else? What tools and techniques might be used to cut, shape and polish a piece of raw marble stone? Use card shapes to design a floor.

Adam Dircksz's Boxwood Rosary

Think small to think big: set children a design challenge. These beads are both functional and decorative. A challenge can be focused on resolving a current problem, thinking through the best material required, scale and a meaningful decorative scheme.

Tom Price's Counterpart

Solve the seating problem: museums and galleries need to provide seating for visitors. Challenge the pupils to investigate materials used to design suitable seating solutions for Chatsworth. Drawings, maquettes and 3D sketch-up modelling could be used to realise design ideas.

Crinoidal Windowsills

Why does this stone make a good material for a windowsill? Conduct a research study into the natural qualities of the stone, its durability and appearance.

Mortlake Tapestries

Tapestries were functional and decorative. They insulated rooms before central heating existed. Compare them with other heating solutions.

Jan van der Vaardt’s Trompe L’oeil Violin

Computing: make an accurate 3D model of a violin

Perfume Burner

Compare the perfume burner to present-day odour busters and then design your own.

Michael Craig Martin portrait of Laura, Countess of Burlington

This portrait was made using computer algorithms - a set of instructions needed to complete a task. Here, the coding instructions are set to select different colours in a random order. To brush our teeth, we must use different tasks in a certain order. Try writing the algorithms for brushing your teeth. Put them in order and then see what happens if you jumble them up!

Try this for English

Sir Edwin Landseer’s painting Trial by Jury

Use the painting to prompt discussion, role-play and debate. Pupils can pick a dog/character and present an issue or their side of a debate. The painting can also be used to explore appropriate registers for different kinds of communication.

Mortlake Tapestries

Use the tapestry as a prompt for creating a written narrative.

Rembrandt's Portrait of an Old Man

Use the painting as a springboard into creative and descriptive writing. Imagine being the person in the picture. Or, choose a text and describe how it could be turned into a picture.

Devonshire Hunting Tapestries

Try basing a writing exercise around one of the many narratives to be found in the tapestries. Identify a mini-drama or romance and imagine how the story ends.

Try this for History and Geography

Reproduction of portrait of Elizabeth of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury

Bess of Hardwick was a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I. Some historical sources identify Bess as the second most powerful woman in England, after the Queen. Use this as a discussion point about women in Elizabethan society – what was expected of them, what it meant to be seen as a powerful woman and how dangerous that could be.

A Marble Foot Wearing a Sandal

The word sandal is of Greek origin: σάνδαλον = sandalon. While most people of ancient Greece walked bare foot, there was a tradition of wearing sandals. Challenge pupils to design and make their own Greek sandals using cardboard, string and natural materials.

Adam Dircksz's Boxwood Rosary

Try using this object as a possession of Henry VIII's, to discuss how the role of the monarch has changed between the Tudor period and the reign of Elizabeth II.

Give the subject a local link: Henry VIIIs break with the roman church, divorce from Catherine of Aragon and marriage to Anne Boleyn, mother of the future Queen Elizabeth I has a historic link to Chatsworth. Bess of Hardwick, who with her husband William Cavendish built Tudor Chatsworth, was a courtier to the Queen. Bess’s fourth husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury, was the keeper of Mary Queen of Scots, cousin to the Queen and seen as a threat to the protestant monarch. Use the rosary beads to discuss the role of religion and the monarchy in the daily life of the population.

Louis Laguerre’s Ceiling and Upper wall paintings in the Painted Hall

The Apotheosis of Caesar (ceiling) and Caesar crossing the Rubicon, High Priest Sacrificing in front of the Capitol, Caesar crossing the English Channel, The Assassination of Caesar (walls)

Use the theme of Julius Caesar and his invasion of Britain to explore Roman Britain and its legacy in our lives today.

Jan Siberechts' painting A View of Chatsworth from the East

Use the painting and current-day photography to identify changes in the garden and landscape.

Explore the painting section by section to bring history to life and develop an understanding of the working day of staff on the estate.

Mortlake Tapestries

Try using the tapestries to explore the legacy of Greek or Roman culture.

Maria Cosway's portrait of Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire, as Diana

Use the painting to study the Georgian Period. Think about how classical antiquity influenced fashion and architecture.

Introduce Georgiana as an influential woman of the period – known for her taste and fashion but also for her politics and gambling.

Adam Frans van der Meulen’s Lord William Cavendish, later 4th Earl and 1st Duke of Devonshire (1640-1707) on Horseback

Use the painting to research how powerful figures, monarchs and heads of state have been represented in different historical periods. How are their images controlled?

A Great Dining Experience

Research nineteenth century dining and organise a dining experience. What will be on the menu? What kind of entertainment matches the Victorian era?

Devonshire Hunting Tapestries

Use the tapestry to demonstrate how historical evidence can build a picture of how people used to live, what they ate and wore. Identify some ways of doing things that have not changed much today (for example falconry).

Filippo Albacini's sculpture The Wounded Achilles

Explore the story of the Trojan War using Homer’s epic poem The Iliad.

Try this for Maths

Leonardi's Geometric Marble Pavement

Try naming all of the cut shapes in the floor. How many different shapes are there? Then, find the line of symmetry along the corridor.

A Marble Foot Wearing a Sandal

The estimated UK shoe-size of this ancient foot is size 101! Use this information to calculate the height of the full statue.

Who has the biggest foot? Ask pupils to remove their shoes, stand on a sheet of cm squared paper, and draw around their foot. Count up all the whole squares and portions of squares. Add these together to work out the area of the foot.

Natasha Daintry's Sowing Colour

Bring learning about the Fibonacci sequence to life using this artwork.

Try this for Performing Art and Music

Valentin de Boulogne’s Three Musicians

Use the painting to investigate historical music periods and types of songs that were popular. Play a cantata (can be found on youtube) and then compose and perform one.

Filippo Albacini's sculpture The Wounded Achilles

Work in pairs to act out the scene of Achilles’ fateful death. Exploring physical expressions of pain and victory, role-play the parts of Paris and Achilles.

Try this for Science

Leonardi's Geometric Marble Pavement

Research the characteristics of metamorphic rock.

Amethyst Geode

Conduct some research into other types of Geodes. Can pupils find out why the crystals inside can be different colours?

Crinoidal Windowsills

What type of rock or stone is this? Igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic? Zoom into the windowsill to make an observational drawing of a fossilised crinoid.

Perfume Burner

Use the object to explore the senses or the physical properties of materials.

What natural plants are used in a perfume or incense burner today? Explore naturally scented herbs, flowers and foliage that release scent and can disguise bad smells.

Jacob van der Beugel's North Sketch Sequence

When humans reproduce we pass on characteristics to our children. This is known as inheritance. You might notice that you look like your parents or a close relative. This is because you inherit key characteristics from them, like your eye colour, skin colour or height. Work in pairs and identify what characteristics make you look different from each other.