Have you ever played charades? Charades is a game in which you act out the name of a song, a book, a television show, or a movie for your team to guess. You can't use words or objects around you, only gestures to show what you have in mind. For example, how would you pretend to be an elephant walking, a rock star playing the guitar, or a character from your favorite book? It's not easy!

Some artists play a game like charades with their art. Instead of just painting a picture of something that you can recognize easily, they think of a clever way to express an idea. You have to look carefully and guess what the artist was trying to say.

Copyright © 2007 National Gallery of Art