Identifying features of historical images and interpreting the meaning can prove tricky at times. Even well known images can catch pupils, the public and even the teachers out. Interpretative work may draw varying conclusions. Images may have hidden meanings. The context in which they were created or commissioned may be hard to see at first glance.
To help tackle this learning problem we’ve created a series of interactive images. With multiple hotspots, these allow learners to interrogate the evidence.
This can be seen in this analysis of the Bayeux Tapestry.
A few standard ‘facts’ are questioned in that analysis. There’s more coverage on modern interpretation of the Bayeux Tapestry elsewhere on our blog. This image analysis would work well alongside our Norman Conquest worksheets
The hotspots don’t just point out what something shows. They explain the context. Some question the image itself. Interpretations by academics are referred to. Instead of a quick sweeping statement about an image, there are analytical tools.
Then there are period specific terms that a young historian ought to be using when evaluating a source or using it to form an argument. In this analysis of A Court for King Cholera, the terminology is introduced in a simple and memorable manner.
The images can be used as whole class activities via an interactive whiteboard. You can use an embed code to intgrate our content into your history departments webpage or vle.
Classic art has a place in these studies. Parents may find examples such as A Triumph of Death interesting to look at on parent evening. It shows how great artwork can be great for learning about a topic as well known as the Black Death.
Where image analysis is a part of GCSE History lessons we have examples such as these worksheets on Edward Jenner that guide analysis of opposition to his smallpox vaccine.