If you were to pose for a portrait, what would you want to include? What kind of pose would you have? Use your imagination and create a self-portrait keeping these different elements in mind.
It is believed that John Bradley was self-taught and had no formal schooling in art. Can you tell this by looking at the image? What details make you think he was self-taught? Do you think that he was a good artist? Is it a realistic painting? Compare The Cellist to Eakins’ Miss Amelia Van Buren. How are they different?
The viewer is able to read the title of the sheet music, Mildred Court, on the pianoforte. This song was a hymn written for a church in England. Why do you think the sitter is shown with this piece of music? From this detail what can we guess about the sitter’s identity?
Art historians believe that John Bradley emigrated from Ireland in 1826. Most people who live in the United States emigrated from somewhere else. From where did your ancestors come?
The cello is a stringed instrument. What are other stringed instruments? Describe the differences among them. List in order of size all of the instruments generally found in the string section of an orchestra.
Choose one stringed instrument to write about. Research the history of the instrument up to the present day.
Look at your local newspaper for announcements of concerts. Are there concerts featuring cellists? Who are some of the outstanding cellists of today?
Do you play an instrument? Which one? Why did you choose this instrument?