Antoine Pevsner For Younger Children

Silhouette of sculpture

Column of Peace


Antoine Pevsner

French, born in Russia, 1886–1962

Subject: Symmetry

Activity: Create a symmetrical painting

Materials: Paper and acrylic or tempura paint

Vocabulary: Diagonal, harmony, symmetry


Antoine Pevsner wanted this sculpture to make the viewer feel hopeful about the future. Called Column of Peace, the artist hoped that the work would be made into a larger monument in a park to honor and remember the men and women who fought in war. Pevsner used a combination of diagonal lines that move up and down to create a sense of balance. He also wanted to create symmetry, which is like balance, where two sides are equal in size. Symmetry and balance are qualities we often associate with peace and unity.


Can you name some things you see everyday that look balanced?

Can you think of signs and symbols that make you feel peaceful? Does this sculpture fit in with them?

Do you think this sculpture conveys ideas of hope and peace, like the artist intended? If not, what feelings or ideas do they convey?

Imagine this sculpture had been made to be very large. What might it appear to be?


Have your child fold a sheet of paper in half, then unfold it, creating a crease that marks the middle of the paper. Help your child use a brush to apply paint to one half of the paper only. Leave the paint thick in blobs, without spreading it out over the paper too much. Before the paint has a chance to dry, carefully refold the paper along the crease. When your child opens the page back up, point out how the paint has transferred to the other side, creating a symmetrical composition. Repeat this process on new sheets, experimenting with where your child applies the paint and seeing how the results change.


Diagonal —A line that runs at a slant, between vertical and horizontal

Harmony – Having balanced or equal parts

Symmetry —Something having balanced or equal distributions among its parts