Human toil has always been a telling theme in works of art, ever since ancient Egypt.
In this group of pictures, just counting all the operations people are engaged in is daunting. And the painters, of course, were working too.
These images may generate classroom controversy. Artists have recorded people labouring. Attitudes to role and gender can be gleaned, and students will spot contrasts.
In some pictures it appears that the dynamic between a person, a task and a piece of equipment, or machine, creates artistic unity. The worker becomes part of the ‘wholeness’ of movement and purpose.
People — concentrating and focussing — are central to this subject. But how exactly do artists see machines? As something the worker must master? The world of work is a fascinating theme, and it fuses Art with Design and Technology.
This is an art education resource in e-book pdf format for schools, higher education, art classes and lifelong learning.
Contents: 41 pages, 30 paintings and teaching notes. See contents
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