AN EXPERIMENT ON A BIRD IN THE AIR PUMP
Joseph Wright of Derby
The 1________________ of this painting 2___________ cruel to us today and not what we 3___________ entertainment.
But 250 years ago you could pay a 4________________ to entertain you in your own home.
A group of people have 5____________ to watch a scientific experiment.
The scientist is dramatically dressed in a red 6__________ .
He is demonstrating with a 7_________, how living things need air to survive.
The air is slowly being 8______________ of a large glass 9___________ where an expensive white Cockatoo 10___________ breath.
The two little girls seem very 11___________ and are being 12_____________ by a man.
The older girl 13____________ to watch and is 14____________ her sister for 15____________.
On the left, another onlooker 16______________ timing the experiment with a stopwatch.
This young woman 17___________ have eyes only for the young man next to her, but is he returning her 18_________
Will the scientist let the bird live or
will he carry on 19_____________ the air till it dies?
1. subject matter
subject matter: the ideas or information contained in a book, speech, painting, etc. E.g. The artist was revolutionary in both subject matter and technique. She's searching for subject matter for her new book.
2. may seem
3. would call
4. travelling scientist
pump: a machine that is used to force liquid, gas or air into or out of something. Sp. bomba. E.g. a foot/hand pump (= that you work by using your foot or hand). A bicycle pump.
8. sucked out
10. struggles to
upset /ˌʌpˈset/ unhappy or disappointed because of something unpleasant that has happened. E.g. There's no point getting upset about it.
reassure: /ˌriːəˈʃʊə(r)/ to say or do something that makes somebody less frightened or worried. Put/set somebody’s mind at ease/rest. Sp. tranquilizar. E.g. They tried to reassure her, but she still felt anxious. The doctor reassured him that there was nothing seriously wrong.
13. can’t bear
can't/couldn't bear: not be able to accept and deal with something unpleasant
bear doing something I can't bear having cats in the house. He can't bear being laughed at.
bear to do something He can't bear to be laughed at. How can you bear to eat that stuff?
clutch 1. to hold somebody/something tightly. E.g. He clutched the child to him. 2. to take hold of something suddenly, because you are afraid or in pain. E.g. He gasped and clutched his stomach.
comfort /ˈkʌmfət/ a feeling of not suffering or worrying so much; a feeling of being less unhappy. Consolation. E.g. to take/draw comfort from somebody’s words.
16. appears to be
17. seems to
gaze: a long steady look at somebody/something. E.g. He met her gaze (= looked at her while she looked at him). She dropped her gaze (= stopped looking).
19. pumping out
pump: to make water, air, gas, etc. flow in a particular direction by using a pump or something that works like a pump. Sp. bombear. E.g. The engine is used for pumping water out of the mine. The heart pumps blood around the body.
The subject matter of this painting may seem cruel to us today and not what we would call entertainment. But 250 years ago, if you were rich, you could pay a travelling scientist to entertain you in your own home. A group of people have gathered to watch a scientific experiment. The scientist is dramatically dressed in a red robe and has long white hair. He is demonstrating with a pump, how living things need air to survive. The air is slowly being sucked out of a large glass bowl where an expensive white Cockatoo struggles to breath. The two little girls seem very upset and are being reassured by a man who’s possibly their father. The older girl can’t bear to watch and is clutching her sister for comfort. On the left, another onlooker appears to be timing the experiment with a stopwatch. This young woman seems to have eyes only for the young man next to her, but is he returning her gaze or looking past her towards the bird. The all powerful scientist leaves us in doubt as to what will happen next: will he let the bird live or will he carry on pumping out the air till it dies?