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Chaucer at the court of Edward III

Look at this large group of people.

This painting shows a king and queen and the people of their court listening to the famous writer Geoffrey Chaucer read a story.

Notice their faces and expressions. What type of story do you think Chaucer is reading? Might it be funny, sad or scary?

The artist – Ford Madox Brown – asked his friends to model for him so he could make the painting look as realistic as possible.

Choose one of the people and copy their pose. Could you stay like that for a long time while an artist painted you?

Find these things in the painting:

  • Chaucer reading
  • the king and queen
  • two dogs
  • pointy shoes
  • a knight
  • a red hat
  • someone writing
  • people whispering
  • girls with flowers in their hair

Count how many people are wearing crowns.


At home

Ask someone to pose for you and draw or paint their portrait. Ask more than one person to pose and create a group portrait.