Wondrous Birds (work of art)
Key Ideas about this Work of Art
- Hans Thoma painted natural landscapes that often depicted his home country of Germany. Many of his paintings are based on German folklore.
- The perspective used in this painting is unusual. The scene is depicted from another bird’s point of view (a bird’s-eye view), as if the artist was flying beside the three storks.
- According to German folklore, storks brought good luck to families and delivered babies to their parents.
Hans Thoma created several paintings of storks in flight, including Wondrous Birds. He depicted the storks from the perspective of another bird. This point of view makes it look like the artist was in the sky, flying beside the birds.
Thoma’s focus on painting storks may have been influenced by his interest in German folklore. In these stories storks brought good luck to families. Children were often taught that storks delivered babies to their parents, carrying them down in baskets from the sky. Thoma was known to have a strong interest in symbolism and mythology, but he never explained the meaning of Wondrous Birds.
tags: animals, environment, force, movement, observation, perspective, flight, clouds, landscape, water
Resources for Teachers:
- Read the artist’s biography.
- Review a lesson plan about perspective in art.
- Read an article about storks and the folklore associated with them.
Resources for Students:
- View another painting by Hans Thoma and compare it to Wondrous Birds.
- Learn some facts about storks.
- Take a closer look at Wondrous Birds in an NCMA activity called “Meet the Birds.”