Catherine Delors on Jean-Baptiste Belley. You might not have heard of him (at least I didn't) but he led a fascinating life.
When I do school visits, I often play a game where I ask the kids to guess the history of the person from the portrait. I ask them things like: What do you think he/she is thinking at this moment? What is the meaning behind some of the surrounding objects? (Can they find some of the hidden objects?) What time period did he/she live? And then I tell them the story behind the person.
Kids love to play art detective and it's a great way to introduce a historical figure that they might not be familiar with. And when it comes to interpretting art...there really is no wrong answer. I think Jean-Baptiste Belley is a great candidate for this excersise.