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ERIC Number: EJ793879
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
Art in Social Studies: Exploring the World and Ourselves with Rembrandt
Ahmad, Iftikhar
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v42 n2 p19-37 Sum 2008
Rembrandt's art lends itself as a fertile resource for teaching and learning social studies. His art not only captures the social studies themes relevant to the Dutch Golden Age, but it also offers a description of human relations transcending temporal and spatial frontiers. Rembrandt is an imaginative storyteller with a keen insight for minute details. His narrative of the culture, society, economy, geography, and contemporary events of seventeenth-century Dutch life is as vivid and perceptive as a historian's eloquent text. How people lived in community, how the city of Amsterdam functioned, how important religion was to people, how diverse and cosmopolitan the culture was, how interdependent the world was in the seventeenth century, and what the social and civic ideals of the Dutch people were during the Golden Age--Rembrandt's paintings, etchings, and drawings neatly organize these and other social studies themes into visual messages. More importantly, the people's appreciation and interpretation of Rembrandt's work helps them learn about not just Dutch society and culture of four hundred years ago but also about themselves. The passion, emotions, conflicts, and inspirations of his subjects are essentially human and eternal, arousing empathy in every generation and cross-section of society. In this article, the author looks at Rembrandt's art for the purpose of teaching and learning social studies in the contemporary interdependent world--a world that is chronologically and geographically distant from the Dutch Golden Age but in many respects shares its enduring values, norms, ideals, pursuits, challenges, and possibilities. To do so, the author employs a conceptual lens--the curriculum thematic strands of the National Council for the Social Studies--to examine Rembrandt's art in order to explore life and make meaning of the story that is being told about the human condition, and to seek out its relevance to the people and the world in the early twenty-first century. (Contains 9 figures and 20 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands