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Step inside the scene and imagine a conversation between figures with this creative writing activity.

Download a PDF of the Conversation Bubbles template.

Download PDF (132.3KB)

Introduction

The French Realist painter Jules Breton’s paintings depict rural peasant life and traditions, often drawing inspiration from the people and surroundings of his village of Courrières in northern France. The title of this painting, Le lundi (Mondays), refers to a practice among workers of taking a day off on Mondays. Breton’s depiction of workers in the local tavern includes detailed renderings of specific individuals in his town, including his brotherseated towards the left and smoking a pipeand the actual proprietor of the tavernthe woman in a red shawl standing in the center of the scene. The artist arranged the figures in a composition that suggests a classical frieze or stage set, emphasizing the interpersonal drama of daily life. Animate this unfolding scene by following the steps below to imagine a conversation between two figures in the painting. 

Materials

  • Pencils 
  • Conversation Bubbles template

Steps

  • Look closely at the artwork, noticing how the figures relate to each other and to their setting. Make note of body language and facial expressions.  
  • Pick two figures in the artwork and imagine a conversation between them. Based on your observations, consider both what they might say to each other and what they are thinking. 
  • Use the Conversation Bubbles printout to fill in a speech bubble and a thought bubble for each of your chosen figures, creating a conversation between them. 
  • Read out your dialogue to act out your scene! 

 

If you are with a group of people, try this activity with a partner and share your conversations with the group. What different interpretations of the scene emerge