Making Papier-Mache Marionette Puppets Inspired by Characters in a Historical Painting

By Jan Miller

This resource is part of a collection called Teaching Art to Year Three.

Children wanted to tell the story illustrated in a historical painting to younger children. They chose Penelope with the Suitors 1509 by Pintoricchio, (displayed in the National Gallery, London). They investigated historical puppets and dolls and thought marionettes would allow most animated movement. They wanted to be ambitious with colour and add decorative textiles. Some made Penelope and some made suitors.

Paper-mache marionette

Week 1 Designing the puppet

As well as old master paintings of suitors, antique dolls were used as inspiration for designs. It showed the children the large scale of materials used when making small dolls.

Antique doll in costume

They created a labelled drawing of their design and were encouraged to be ambitious with colour and creative with their ideas.


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