Submitted by: Jesse Rachel Cukierkorn Unit: Art of Mexico - Painting Lesson: Ex Voto Tradition from an Inter-cultural Perspective - Thanks Paintings Grade level: Middle school (adaptable to other grades) Time allotment: 10 class periods
Mexican Folk Retablos - The first part of the book is given to an analysis of folk retablo painting. The second part concentrates on iconography. The third part examines ex-votos, small images painted to commemorate the donor's gratitude for a favor.
Ex voto - inscribed with a testimonial in which gratitude is offered to a patron saint for a miracle received.
EX VOTOS "An ex voto is a votive painting hung on a church wall to commemorate the recovery of the donor from some grave danger. The painting illustrates a written text that relates the circumstances of the cure or rescue. These written commentaries are often so full of regional dialect and phonetic spelling that it is impossible to translate them and still maintain their flavor. Prior to the nineteenth century, ex votos were painted on canvas for the wealthy. After the end of the eighteenth century, tin became the most popular material for ex votos which allowed the masses access to them." http://www.nuevosantander.com/voto.htm
Retablo - a religious painting on tin, produced primarily in Mexico in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Icon - image of holy person: a holy picture, carving, or statue of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint, especially an oil painting on a wooden panel, used in worship in the Eastern Orthodox churches.
Strategies - Interdisciplinary Connections - Class Charting - Evaluation Criteria
Student Interviews - Individual Planning Web - Written critique
1. Examine: What is an ex voto painting? What can you determine about what people thought, believed, or did in the culture in which the artwork was made? What can you determine about what the artwork depicts, if anything?
- Group students to examine digital slide show reproductions, have them record list of characteristics of the paintings on worksheet.
- Groups report out to class and as a group chart similar findings to create a class characterization of the ex voto painting.
- History of ex voto art and teach importance of devotional art in Mexican culture.
- Have students research online for presentation.
Students complete a planning worksheet with teacher guided scenarios and examples.
Students plan compositions based on interview and brainstorm
- Teacher demonstration - use of paint, brushes
- Students translate their best composition onto small boards in paint.
- Groups of students reexamine ex votos with translated texts in order to determine connection between the text and the image.
- Class chart findings
- Students first draft, then print a few sentences on the bottom of their paintings.
7. Review and Assess:
- In pairs students will be asked to choose and discuss from the display of peers work, two pieces that are successful.
- Students will address in writing the key questions in reference to their peers work and their own.
Alternate lesson idea:
1. Cut cardboard to desired size (suggest 8 ½" x 11 ½" or 21.5 x 29 cm) ). Cut aluminum tooling foil ½ inch (1.3 cm) larger than cardboard (suggest 9 x 12 or 23 x 30.5 cm).
2. Score edges of Tooling Foil ¼" (.64 cm) all around. Clip corners - Fold foil around cardboard.
3. Draw Thanks painting composition on 9" x 12" (23 x 30.5 cm) Newsprint. Tape to foil - Transfer to foil by tracing over lines with ball point pen.
4. Trace over lines on foil with Ultra-Fine Point Markers.
5. Paint with Acrylic Paint thinned with Acrylic Gloss Medium (colors should be transparent).
6. Write thanks message at bottom of painting with ultra fine point permanent marker.
Ex Votos Examples
Figure 4:2 (Top image)
Anonymous Mexican artist, 1974
Collage and Watercolor on Tin
Collection of ex votos, Santuario de Plateros
Figure 4.3 (bottom image)
Rafael Luján montado en un macho bruto, lo condujo hasta la orilla de un barranco, sin poderlo contener, en cuyo peligroso transe, invocó al señor de Sacromonte, el que lo libró de una muerte segura, pues su sombrero voló hasta el fondo del precipio. Por tan singular milagro pone el presente retablo en accion de gracias.
Bottom image translation:
Translation by Giffords (1992): Rafael Lujan mounted on an unbroken mule which conducted him to the edge of a cliff, without being able to control it, he invoked the Lord of Sacromonte in this dangerous situation. The Lord of Sacromonte saved him from a sure death, since his hat was blown to the bottom of the precipice. For this unique miracle this retablo is presented as an act of gratitude.
Thanks Painting Idea Web
THANKS PAINTING IDEA WEB
BEFORE beginning your "thank you" painting, use this outline to jog your memory.
1. Remember a time when you had a problem to solve.
A. Were you able to solve the problem yourself?
B. Where did you get help?
C. Who did you ask for support?
D. How did that person help you?
2. Describe the incident or event. Be very specific.
A. Name the person.
B. Tell details you
remember from the incident.
C. Describe how the
person helped you.
3. Focus on numerous details as you think.
A. Picture the person
in your mind.
B. List the sequence
C. Describe what
D. Think of setting. Tell the time of day or year.
E. Recall sights and sounds.
1. List three events in the past when you have
2. Underneath each column list a least 8 details that you can remember from the incident
3. Describe in writing the story of this event.
4. Sketch two different compositions that you could create to tell the story of this event:
Thanks Painting Critique
Thanks Painting Critique
EX VOTO CHARACTERISTICS
EX VOTO TEXT INCLUDES
With your partner, discuss and select four Thanks Paintings from your class that you agree show the influence of Mexican Ex voto paintings.
list them here: ___________________,
___________________ , _______________________
After you have chosen four different paintings, choose one from that selection that you will critique on your own.
Artist #1 __________________________
Identify the story of thanks in this painting:
Explain what choices the artist made to narrate thestory in painting.
Explain how the artist used text in the Thanks painting.
How does this Thanks Painting show the influence of
Mexican ex voto painting?
Identify the story of thanks in your own painting:
Explain what choices you made to narrate the story in painting.
Explain how you used text inthe Thanks painting.
How does your Thanks painting show the influence of Mexican ex voto painting?
Plan for thanks painting clearly demonstrates your effort to remember instances when you have felt thanks.
Painting clearly communicates the action
or central theme of thanks
Text adds something meaningful to the Thanks painting
Used time in class responsibly to accomplish daily objectives