Tableaux Vivant

What is this thing, you say?  Well it is French for (roughly) “living picture.”  The goal is to recreate a famous work of art using yourself and whatever props you can get your hands onto.

This lesson idea was inspired by an amazing Art History teacher (M. Russell), Christmas living nativities, and this amazing video.

Besides just being fun, they are also a great opportunity for the student to have to really think through elements of composition and narrative in an artwork.  They must select what they feel are the key elements needed to convey the artwork across to the viewer.  Come back in the Fall to see the new crop of tableaux vivants!

Winning at Tableaux Vivant:  The Secret Judges Speak!

Here you go!   The secret judges finally reveal their evaluation methods!  Each tableaux vivant is judged regarding the following criteria:

  • Recognizable.  I do not want to know in advance what you are performing because I want your performance to be so dead-on that I can easily recognize it.
  • Verisimilitude.  Beyond just recognition, how correct and accurate is your performance.
  • Appropriateness of props and background.
  • Attention to detail (important details- iconography, etc.).

They have often cautioned about the following:

  • Think about the appropriateness of what is in the background.
  • Be clear.
  • Be careful to not reverse the directions of your poses!