Adventures in Art History Adventures in Art    

Lesson 12: Esther at the Palace Gate

by Sandro Botticelli


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    Adventures in Art History Adventures in Art    

Lesson 12: Esther at the Palace Gate

by Sandro Botticelli

Directions

Study the painting for one week.

Over the week:

  • Look at the painting.
  • Read the synopsis.
  • Study the vocabulary words.
  • Read about the artist.
  • Practice reciting the names of the artist and the painting.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.
  • Study the review questions.

Synopsis

In Sandro Botticelli's 'Esther at the Palace Gate,' one of six panels depicting the biblical story of Esther, he shows the beautiful maiden Esther outside the gates of a palace. Esther was summoned to the castle by the king, along with many other young women to compete for the role of queen. After twelve months of competition for the king's affections, the king selected Esther as the next queen.

Vocabulary

Palace: The official residence of a king, queen, or other exalted person.
Gate: A hinged barrier used to close an opening in a wall, fence, or hedge.
Maiden: A girl or young woman, especially an unmarried one.
Summon: Call people to attend.
Compete: Strive to gain or win something by defeating others.
King: The male ruler of an independent state.
Queen: The female ruler of an independent state.

Concepts

Sandro Botticelli painted 'Esther at the Palace Gate.'

  1. Botticelli was born in the mid-1440s in Florence, Italy. See his picture below.
  2. Find Botticelli's country of birth on the map of Europe below.
  3. The 1440s were a part of the early Renaissance-era. The Renaissance is a period in European history from the 1400s to the 1700, characterized by a wider availability of books to the general populace and the rebirth in learning in the arts, mathematics, and the sciences.
  4. Botticelli first worked as an apprentice goldsmith and then as an apprentice painter.
  5. By his forties, Botticelli earned the title of master painter.
  6. Botticelli died in 1510 at the age of 64.

Enrichment

Activity 1: Can You Find It?

During the week, study the painting and find the following:

  • Ester
  • Castle
  • Turrets
  • Roof
  • Wall
  • Gate
  • Trees
  • Bushes

Activity 2: Narrate the Painting

  • After studying the painting, narrate the scene shown in the painting aloud using your own words.

Activity 3: Complete Vocabulary Activities

  • While studying the vocabulary words, point them out in the painting.
  • Define each of the vocabulary words in your own words.

Activity 4: Act Out the Painting - Compete to be King/Queen

  • One day this week, pretend to the summoned to a castle.
  • Imagine what types of competition a king/queen might hold for their queen/king.
  • Perhaps who can jump the highest? Who can do the most somersaults? Who can stand on one leg the longest? Come up with your own silly competitions to see who will be the next queen/king.

Activity 5: Color the Painting   

  • Click the crayon above, and complete page 17 of 'Kindergarten Art History Coloring Book.'

Review

Question 1

Who are the characters in the painting?
1 / 3

Answer 1

Ester.
1 / 3

Question 2

What is the setting of the painting?
2 / 3

Answer 2

Outside the gates of a palace.
2 / 3

Question 3

Why is Ester at the palace?
3 / 3

Answer 3

She traveled to the palace at the request of the king to compete for the role of queen.
3 / 3

  1. Who are the characters in the painting? Ester.
  2. What is the setting of the painting? Outside the gates of a palace.
  3. Why is Ester at the palace? She traveled to the palace at the request of the king to compete for the role of queen.

References

  1. 'Sandro Botticelli.' Wikipedia. Wikipedia.org. n.p.