THATKid Tuesday: Friar!

THATKid Tuesday is a monthly dose of Art History for kids, running the 1st Tuesday of each month. In this series we’ll be blogging about different terms from the THATKid glossary we’ve created to help kids understand some of the art history terms that pop up in our hunts.

This time we’re going to look at Friars!

Take Fra Angelico, for example. He was the artist who used continuous narrative to tell the story of St Dominic’s life in the pradella. The ‘Fra’ in his name is an Italian word. It and the French word Frère (brother) come from the Latin word for brother Frater. The English word Friar is derived from Frère.

The next time you’re in a museum try and see if you can spot the different orders that these Friars belonged to by looking at their clothes and cloaks or habits.

Dominicans, like in this painting, wear black over white. The Franciscans wear brown. The Capuchins wear grey and the Carmelites wear a white cloak over a brown habbit. The Augustinians, like the one on the far right, like to keep it simple in all black.

Left: A Franciscan Friar, by Rembrandt. Center: Fra Angelico, The Dominican Blessed, from the pradella of Fiesole Alterpiece.  Right: An Augustininan Friar, by Gerard David.

All of these pieces are in the National Gallery in London.

Any questions about friars in art? Please leave any comments or queries below!

The idea for THATKid Tuesday stemmed from the Kid Pack’s glossary. The Kid Pack has supplemental exercises for after your Louvre hunt, from a Michelangelo Connect-the-Dots and a Mona Lisa sticker-puzzle to a Botticelli Spot-the-Difference. Good for train rides or long French dinners, kids can also pick up on some terms like composition, perspective and the lot. As THATMuse has grown to include the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert and Musée d’Orsay, THATKid Tuesday’s blog version has grown to include other examples.

Tune in the first Tuesday of the month if you’d like another art history dose of THATKid.

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