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Writing Bellotto

Does a picture paint a thousand words?

Ever wondered what an image would look like in writing? We’ve been finding out.

Images have surprising associations for different people - everyone has their own particular point of view.

Award-winning writer Belona Greenwood has collaborated with children from Browick Road Primary School in Wymondham, Norfolk, transforming their responses to Bernardo Bellotto’s masterpiece The Fortress of Konigstein from the North into a magical story called The Human Nightingale.

You can enjoy a storytelling of this story in our See me Hear me section below.

Have a look at the painting and see what it makes you think or feel? How different or similar is your response to a friend or family member’s viewpoint? What do you think makes your viewpoints different or the same?

You can also develop your understanding of different forms of poetry and have a go at a haiku!

What even is a haiku? Read on!

Bernardo Bellotto
The Fortress of Konigstein from the North c. 1756-58
The National Gallery, London

See Me, Hear Me!

The Human Nightingale

Enjoy this magical story through our storytelling video - The Human Nightingale on YouTube.

Using the story transcript, why not have a go at being a storyteller yourself? 

Download the transcript of The Human Nightingale

Have a Go at Home

First of all, what is a haiku?

The haiku is a form of poetry. It is pronounced Hy-koo.

There are many different types of poetry ‘forms’ including sonnets, epics, villanelles, blank verse and haikus.

The haiku is a form originally from Japan, as the name may suggest.

It has a very specific structure:

  • Three lines with a total of only 17 syllables
  • The first line should contain 5 syllables, the second line 7 syllables and the third 5 syllables
  • Nature and seasonal-specific themes are traditional

Haiku you do?

Children from Browick Road Primary School in Norfolk have managed to fit their responses to Bellotto’s mighty painting into a pocket-sized haiku!

Leo, aged 10, wrote this:

This is a big fort
The road reaches far and wide
Above soldiers sleep.

Download Haikus written by children from Browick Road Primary School

Why not have a go yourself!? Choose a real or even imaginary person to read to.

Show us!

We would love to see your poems!

Share your work with us via social media using the #bellottofortress

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