The Symbolism of Allegorical Art

This The Symbolism of Allegorical Art handout & reference also includes:

Introduce learners to allegorical art with four bronze sculptures by Francesco Bertos. After modeling how to recognize bias and allegory in Bertos' Africa, class groups examine the other three sculptures in the series before creating their own allegorical work.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Begin with a mini-lesson on allegory using a folk tale to model for learners how the events in a story can represent ideas on an allegorical level
  • Then move to a second exercise in which class members identify the symbolic value of objects like a flag, eagle, pumpkin, etc.
  • Ask viewers to consider how changing one element of the composition would change the overall impact of the work
Classroom Considerations

  • Considerably more scaffolding would be required for all learners to feel confident identifying the symbols and allegorical level of the sculptures

  • The exercises encourage kids to closely examine and reflect on all the details an artist includes in a work



  • The concept here is a good one; however, some learners may need more scaffolding to feel comfortable interpreting the symbolism in works of art
  • Allegory, and the part symbolism plays in allegory, is not sufficently defined