how to start a art history essay

same about the artworks, the building, the architects, the artists, the critics, the patrons, etc. The more theoretical the assignment, the more time you will spend reading journal articles and (sometimes indirectly related) books. Contextualize the image within a historical and cultural framework only when required for an assignment. Your argument for this paper should be backed up with careful description and analysis of the visual evidence that led you to your conclusion. Others will expect you to go further and comment on the significance of what you have observed. The basic questions of art history often appear in a few traditional types of assignments. Iconography/iconology, this kind of assignment occurs in courses covering art before the Modern period. How do elements relate to each other?

Include only the elements needed to explain and support your analysis. This criteria may include forms, space, composition, line, color, light, texture, physical characteristics, and expressive content. Based on library research, students are asked to synthesize analyses of the scholarship in relation to the work upon which it is based. Art historians study iconography and iconology so often that they have compiled reference texts that list many of the famous works that show particular themesyou might use these as a resource, so ask the art librarian about them. Provenance/patronage study, some assignments require you to examine the life of the object itself: the circumstances surrounding its production and/or where and why it has changed hands throughout history.

Describe the image in specific terms and with the criteria that you used for the analysis. Second, your instructors realize that you are not accustomed to scrutinizing objects in this way and know that you need practice doing. Start to write at least one week before the paper is due. For help understanding art history jargon and theory, check out the following resources: To look up recent articles (for the last 20 years or so ask your librarian about the Art Index, rila, BHA, and Avery Index. A Short Guide to Writing about Art. However, in some courses, particularly in Modern Art courses, you may be asked to look beyond or through the object toward theoretical, historical, or social contexts of the object, artist, or time period. You might struggle with this assignment because it is hard to translate what you see into wordsdont give up, and take more notes than you might think you need. G., comparing one Impressionist painting by Monet to one by Morisot or comparing a Caravaggio still life to a Picasso still life.

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