Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2), Upper Elementary (3–5)
Subjects: Visual Arts, History–Social Science
Time Required: 2–Part Lesson
2-3 class periods
Author: J. Paul Getty Museum Education Staff

For the Classroom

Curriculum Home
Lesson Plans
Image Bank
Related Works of Art
Glossary (PDF, 343KB)
Print and Web Resources (PDF, 191KB)
Standards Charts (PDF, 724KB)

Lesson Overview

Students will analyze art elements and symbolism in a late-19th-century painting, create a self-portrait, and learn a dance depicted in the painting.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
• examine color, shape, and symbols in a late-19th-century painting;
• create a self-portrait as a character from the painting;
• perform the dance that is depicted in the painting.


• Reproduction of A Centennial of Independence by Henri Rousseau
• Background Information and Questions for Teaching about the painting (click on the thumbnail of the painting below)
• Internet access or CD or MP3 player
Farandole music (available on the Web site Traditional Music from County of Nice or on a CD. A video clip depicting the farandole dance is available on the YouTube Web site.)
• Wax crayons
• Watercolors (either food dye and Kool-Aid® or radiant watercolors)
• Watercolor brushes
• 18 x 24 inch sheets of watercolor paper
• Yarn

Lesson Steps

Download the complete lesson by clicking on the "download this lesson" icon above.

Additional Resource:
Learn more about and compare A Centennial of Independence by Henri Rousseau and Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889 by James Ensor.

Glossary Terms:
Words in bold on these pages and in the lesson are defined in the glossary for this curriculum (see "For the Classroom" links above).

Centennial / Rousseau
A Centennial of Independence, Henri Rousseau, 1892

Standards Addressed

Refer to the charts for national and California state standards for this curriculum, found in the links at the top right of this page.