Living Paintings: Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
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Interact with works of fine art in fun, creative ways.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Learn about some famous painters and their paintings and examine details in fine art.

Ease of Play

Easy to use, although parents will need to read information for younger kids. Artist and painting information included isn't at a level for the lower end of the developer's suggest age range of 4-11.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Living Paintings: Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is a fine art and art history education app featuring art from the Madrid-based museum. Kids can view, interact with, and read about art and artists from as far back as the year 1510 (Vittore Carpaccio) to modern-day works by artists such as Wassily Kandinsky. Kids can interact with sections of a painting to see how small differences affect the whole work, change the clothing on a portrait and make it talk, add their own color to a painting, and more. Parents will likely need to read the detailed written information about the art and artists to younger art lovers who want to know more, but it's not necessary to read the information to enjoy the interactive experiences. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Explore LIVING PAINTINGS: THYSSEN-BORNEMISZA MUSEUM by swiping through numerous works of art and selecting one. Read the on-screen instructions to interact with the painting. For example, tap on the Wassily Kandinsky painting Delicate Tension and read: "Tension is the key. Stretch, push, drag, and experiment with the sounds made when you alter elements in the picture." Tap the "i" icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and read about Kandinsky's life and work. Tap the "?" icon to re-read instructions. Tap the "+" icon to scroll through and tap on and interact with other paintings.

Is it any good?

This is a fun, easy, and visually pleasing way for kids to interact with works of fine art. Living Paintings: Thyssen-Bornemisza includes interactive games that are sometimes educational, other times just plain funny. Since this app includes selected art from only one museum, there's a limited amount of options. For a free app, however, it's worth it to download for even just one or two play sessions. Any kid interested in art will find something on Living Paintings: Thyssen-Bornemisza to enjoy looking at and learning from.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the differences in the works of art featured on Living Paintings: Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Which one does your kid find the most interesting? The most eye-pleasing? The most fun to interact with? Why?

  • Visit a local art museum or, if you don't have an art museum in your community, check out other art museums' online collections. 

  • Encourage kids to think of themselves as artists, even if they aren't naturally inclined to the visual arts. There's all kinds of art to be made with sound, motion, and more!

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Arts: drawing, painting
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: part-whole relationships
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: March 2, 2016
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 736.50 MB
  • Publisher: DADA Company
  • Version: 1.0.6
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 2.3 and up
  • Last updated: March 18, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love art and creativity

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