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The Portraits of the Ladies

Activity 3

The Portraits of the Ladies

Group 1: Many Marilyns

Marylin Monroe, Andy Warhol, 1967.


  • flashy (adj.)
  • garish /ˈgɛərɪʃ/ (adj.)
  • individual (adj.)
  • multiple (adj.)
  • unique /ˌjuːˈniːk/ (adj.)
  • appropriate (adj.)
  • remodel (v.)
  • reproduce /ˌriːprəˈdjuːs/ (v.)
  • transform (v.)

Group 2: Do I look pretty?

Girl at a Mirror, Norman Rockwell, 1954.


  • girlhood (n.)
  • one’s reflection (n.)
  • be sulky (adj.) / sulk (n. ou v.)
  • puzzled (intrigued) (adj.)
  • identify (v.)
  • look at (v.)
  • look like (v.)
  • pout /ˌpaʊt/ (v.)
  • recognise oneself (v.)

Group 3: Me and my selves

Triple Self-Portrait (adapted from Norman Rockwell), Maggie Meiners, 2018.


  • analog / digital (adj.)
  • framed (adj.)
  • multifaceted (adj.)
  • narcissistic (adj.)
  • self-centered (adj.)
  • drawing (n.)
  • parody (n. or v.)
  • photograph /ˈfəʊtəɡrɑːf/ (n.)
  • photographer /fəˈtɒɡrəfə/ (n.)
  • screens (n.)
  • look away (v.)
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You are in charge of one picture.

Look at the picture. What strikes you at first sight?

Answer the questions corresponding to your picture. Use the vocabulary from the toolbox.
Group 1
a. What do you know about Marilyn Monroe?

b. What message is conveyed through representing her six times?

Group 2
c. What do the objects lying around the girl symbolise?

d. How does she feel as far as you can see?

Group 3
e. Which aspects of the artist’s personality and self-image are represented?

f. Would you say this portrait is self-mocking or narcissistic?

What image of women is conveyed through this picture? Is it objective?

Useful vocabulary: At first sight, I have the feeling that…
I think that… I’d rather say that… Let’s say that...
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Let's talk this out!


Share your findings with your classmates  and learn about the other pictures.

Compare the representations of women shown in these artworks.

How do the artists view or represent women? What does it show about their perception of women and their self-image? Do you agree?

Do these characteristics only apply to women?

Useful vocabulary: In my opinion / To my mind…
This is a biased vision / representation of women...
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From French to English


La traduction de « paraître »

  • to be released (book, magazine)
  • to resemble to look like
  • to look + adj to seem to appear

Il paraît que... → rumour has it...

Exercices p. 124

Let's learn!

Slap the board!

Two students go to the board where the three pictures are shown. You give sentences about one of the pictures (without naming it), they slap the corresponding picture. Use vocabulary from the toolbox. Go further than describing the picture.

Over to you!

Mirror, mirror on my wall or screen...

Let’s use what you have learnt in !

You’re taking part in a writing contest entitled “Write my Portrait.”

Choose one of the artworks above (or one of your choice) and introduce the woman it represents, insisting on the consequences of her perception of her self-image.
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