Portraits – Pictures of People

Work with portraits in Nationalmuseum's collections. Use our material with tutorial guides, exercises and pictures för Swedish teachers and pupils abroad.

Never before have there been so many pictures of people as there are today. We see them everywhere; in advertisements, magazines, on the internet, on TV and at home. We take pictures of ourselves and others with our mobiles and publish them on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and Flickr.

Having your portrait made is a way of being immortalised, seen and remembered.  Portraits are a way of showing the world who you are, or would like to be. But a portrait is more than a physical depiction. It also aspires to saying something about the individual, his or her interests and social status. By interpreting facial expressions, gestures, poses, attributes and symbols in the portraits, we learn something about the person that goes beyond the superficial appearance. A portrait also conveys the beauty ideals, social hierarchies, norms and trends of the time.

Portraits as a learning resource

Both historical and contemporary portraits are interesting and amusing as a learning resource. They are easy to relate to, explore and discuss. Portraits can be used when studying topics such as identity, gender, power, trends, fashion and ideals of beauty. This also gives pupils an opportunity to learn more about famous Swedes and artists.

This theme's paintings

The illustrations for this theme are as follows: Queen Christina as a Child by Jacob Heinrich Elbfas, Boy with Parrots and Guenons by David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl, Asmund Palm Merchant in Constantinople by Jonas Hoffman, Self-Portrait by Elisabeth Keyser, Mill Owner Jennings, his Brother and Sister-in-Law by Alexander Roslin, and Oscar II in his Coronation Robe by Oscar Björk.

Picture: Asmund Palm, Merchant in Constantinople, Jonas Hofman

Asmund Palm, Merchant in Constantinople, Jonas Hofman

Teacher's guide and pictures

Each theme is accompanied by a teacher's guide with facts, exercises and pictures. There is also an illustration folder. The images can be printed out in A4 format or shown in the classroom, for instance by using an LCD projector. You will also find a separate illustration folder containing the images from all four themes

pdf Teacher's guide
ikon power point Pictures, Portrait theme
ikon power point All pictures


The production of this educational material was made possible thanks to generous funding from SWEA.



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