Trumpington St



Key Stage
Type of Activity

This kit contains all the material you will need to make paint using pigments and a medium just as artists did (before ready-mix paint!). You can construct an experiment for students to explore the role of science in both the artist’s and the scientist’s workshop with reference to the technical analysis of the Renaissance painting, Cupid and Psyche by Jacopo del Sellaio. There is material provided with the kit that supports each of the suggested activities below.

Suggested activities

  • Reading the narrative in the painting
  • Inspecting the large technical analyses images together and spotting key details
  • Learn about how Cupid and Psyche was made, using pigments and wooden example panels
  • Use the digital microscope to inspect the panels and pigments and match them up
  • Explore where the materials and minerals in the loan box came from. How did they get to Italy during the renaissance?
  • Make your own paint using the minerals marked for use
  • Make a painting with your own paint
  • Construct a simple experiment using the variables that change when making your own paint. How can you make it more dense? How can it dry faster?

These kits are available as a loans box, borrowable for up to one half term period. They are free to borrow and have resources that you can handle and inspect, and also some pigment materials that you can use with your class to make paint.

  • suitable for KS2 and KS3
  • comes with useful digital and printed resources to provide context and suggest activities
  • you must be available for online training on how to use the kit before you can borrow it
  • Teachers pick up and bring back the boxes themselves so that they can have a handover with the box and a member of Fitzwilliam Museum staff at both points
  • We run through the contents of the box at each stage and museum staff will check at both points for anything that is missing or broken
  • We can arrange for parking for short periods, for pick up and drop off
  • Some of the pigments in the kit can be used to make paint. Some cannot and are only for observation and handling. These pigments are clearly marked.
  • Normal wear and tear is totally understandable! Please report any breakages or missing parts before or on return, that way we can repair and replace parts before the boxes are next loaned.