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French Art

Grades 6 through 12

We will offer a selection of in-person and virtual field trips (using Zoom) for winter/spring 2024.

Requests for winter/spring field trips (January 8 – May 31, 2024) will be accepted from December 1, 2023 – April 5, 2024.

Explore how French art evolved over 150 years by looking at artists such as David, Monet, and Degas. This field trip gives students a taste of French art and explores various themes such as artistic styles and techniques, patronage and power, and changing subject matter as artists respond to the world around them.

A young man and child, both with pale skin, are framed within the rectangular opening of a stone window in this vertical painting. At the center, the young man leans toward us over his forearms, which rest on the wide ledge. Angled to our right, he holds a long straw to his mouth to blow a large, glistening bubble that hangs on the opposite end. A second straw rests in a glass cup filled with white liquid, presumably soapy water, that sits near his right elbow, on our left, and he looks down at the bubble. His chestnut-brown hair is tied back with a black ribbon, and curls hang down from his temple. He wears a brown jacket over a white shirt. A younger child peeks over the ledge to our right and also looks at the bubble. Seen from the nose up, the child wears a hat that curves up and over the crown of the head. The face of the brown stone building into which the window is cut seems close to us. A vine of ivy climbs up the face of the building to our left.

Jean Siméon Chardin, Soap Bubbles, probably 1733/1734, oil on canvas, Gift of Mrs. John W. Simpson, 1942.5.1

Looking and Learning Skills

During four to five field trip stops, students engage in activities—such as looking exercises and small-group work—that foster conversations about works of art. On this field trip, students will practice the following skills:

  • Reasoning with evidence from works of art and using them as primary sources from which to gather ideas about French art and culture.
  • Developing new perspectives about French art, culture, and history.
  • Making and voicing careful observations.
  • Formulating questions that demonstrate curiosity and engagement.
  • Comparing different works of art and articulating connections between them.
  • Connecting field trip ideas to prior knowledge and experience.

In-Person Field Trip Information

Group Size: Up to 60 students
Length: 75 minutes
Meeting Location: West Building Rotunda

Virtual Field Trip Information

Length: 60 minutes

Important Scheduling Information

Field trips must be scheduled at least four weeks in advance. Groups must contain at least 15 students.

Once your field trip has been scheduled, you will receive an email confirmation within ten business days.

Title I Bus Stipends

Funding for the cost of bus transportation is available for Title I schools that participate in our docent-led school field trips. For more information, please get in touch with Deirdre Palmer at [email protected] or (202) 842-6880, or use the application form.

Examples of Works Featured on this Field Trip

Additional National Gallery Resources

Related Resources