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Listen&Learn: Frida Kahlo

29th July 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • self-portrait: a drawing or painting that an artist does of themselves
  • contract: to catch a disease
  • polio: a dangerous disease that can cause paralysis
  • limp: an uneven way of walking, caused by an injury or illness
  • recover: to get better after an injury or illness
  • symbolize: to represent a certain concept
  • expression: the representation of something in art

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican , best known for her self-portraits. She was born in 1907 in Mexico City. At the age of five, Kahlo contracted polio, which left her with a permanent limp. Later, as a teenager, she was seriously injured in a bus accident. Throughout her life, Kahlo had to have surgery often in order to stay and healthy. Because of this, she spent a lot of time recovering in bed. In fact, many of her most works were painted from her bed. Though the accident caused a lot of pain in her life, it also inspired much of her artwork. Almost half of her paintings were self-portraits, most of them meant to symbolize her pain. Kahlo’s work has often been classified as surrealism, a style of art that is by dreams. However, Kahlo disagreed with this, because she had always seen her art as an expression of real life. As Kahlo got older, her got steadily worse. She died in 1954, when she was only 47. Although Kahlo died young, both her life and her artwork are still celebrated today.

Comprehension questions

1. Frida Kahlo was best known for painting

Correct! Wrong!

Frida Kahlo was best known for painting self-portraits.

2. Kahlo was left with a limp after

Correct! Wrong!

Kahlo was left with a limp after recovering from polio.

3. Kahlo died in

Correct! Wrong!

Kahlo died in 1954.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Frida Kahlo was one of many creators who have used art to cope with pain. Why do you think people find comfort in art and creativity?

Transcript

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter, best known for her self-portraits. She was born in 1907 in Mexico City. At the age of five, Kahlo contracted polio, which left her with a permanent limp. Later, as a teenager, she was seriously injured in a bus accident. Throughout her life, Kahlo had to have surgery often in order to stay alive and healthy. Because of this, she spent a lot of time recovering in bed. In fact, many of her most famous works were painted from her bed. Though the accident caused a lot of pain in her life, it also inspired much of her artwork. Almost half of her paintings were self-portraits, most of them meant to symbolize her pain. Kahlo’s work has often been classified as surrealism, a style of art that is inspired by dreams. However, Kahlo disagreed with this, because she had always seen her art as an expression of real life. As Kahlo got older, her health got steadily worse. She died in 1954, when she was only 47. Although Kahlo died young, both her life and her artwork are still celebrated today.

The Mona Lisa

1st April 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • employee: a person who is paid to work for a person or company
  • display: to show something in public
  • vandal: a person who destroys property
  • replicate: to make a copy of something

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Mona Lisa is considered the most famous painting in the world. The piece was painted by Italian Leonardo da Vinci. It is currently displayed in the Louvre, a famous art museum in Paris, France. The painting gained international attention when it was from the museum in 1911. It was missing for two years before a former Louvre employee named Vincenzo Peruggia was caught trying to sell the painting. Peruggia had stolen the painting because he believed that it should belong in an Italian museum, rather than a French one. After Peruggia’s arrest, the Mona Lisa was returned to the Louvre. However, the Mona Lisa’s fame many vandals. In 1956, a vandal threw acid at the painting, causing damage. It is now kept behind bulletproof glass to it from any acts of vandalism. The Mona Lisa is also one of the most commonly replicated paintings. Since 1911, many artists have tried to recreate the Mona Lisa, and a few older exist that may have been painted by da Vinci’s students.

Comprehension questions

1. The Mona Lisa is displayed in a museum in

Correct! Wrong!

The Mona Lisa is displayed in a museum in France.

2. The Mona Lisa became famous because

Correct! Wrong!

The Mona Lisa became famous because it was stolen in 1911.

3. The older copies of the Mona Lisa may have been painted by

Correct! Wrong!

The older copies of the Mona Lisa may have been painted by da Vinci's students.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. The Mona Lisa’s fame came from the 1911 theft. If Vincenzo Peruggia had stolen a different painting, do you think that painting would have the same popularity that the Mona Lisa has today?

Transcript

The Mona Lisa is considered the most famous painting in the world. The piece was painted by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. It is currently displayed in the Louvre, a famous art museum in Paris, France. The painting gained international attention when it was stolen from the museum in 1911. It was missing for two years before a former Louvre employee named Vincenzo Peruggia was caught trying to sell the painting. Peruggia had stolen the painting because he believed that it should belong in an Italian museum, rather than a French one. After Peruggia’s arrest, the Mona Lisa was returned to the Louvre. However, the Mona Lisa’s fame attracted many vandals. In 1956, a vandal threw acid at the painting, causing damage. It is now kept behind bulletproof glass to protect it from any acts of vandalism. The Mona Lisa is also one of the most commonly replicated paintings. Since 1911, many artists have tried to recreate the Mona Lisa, and a few older copies exist that may have been painted by da Vinci’s students.


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