Nov 15, 2021 Uncategorized

Prehistoric sculpture, prehistorical context Venus of willendorf.


ASSIGNMENT: Based on the prolonged observation of your chosen artwork and the preliminary research about its content and context, produce an art historical—analytical or interpretative—essay consisting of engaging formal analysis, profound content interpr

  • oreign terms, and terminology. Capitalize proper names. Use shortened titles when using repeatedly.
  • Tense: Write the sections on form and content using present tense verbs; past tense is acceptable in context.
  • Voice: Quotations must be no longer than 3 lines of text at a time. SUGGESTED OUTLINE:Except for Introduction, Thesis, and Conclusion, the arrangement of paragraphs can be creative.1. INTRODUCTION:Look at your Choice Reflection. As you introduce the object to the reader, you may provide your general impressions of the artwork to help your reader become acquainted with it. Relay factual and descriptive aspects of its physical condition. Rationalize whether these aspects play a role in viewing the work. Provide a general definition of the visual style (i.e., representational figurative art) to indicate a transition to a more academic discussion.2. THESIS STATEMENT: the persuasive plan of argumentLook at your Thesis Statement. The thesis statement provides a map for the rest of the paper. By now, you have chosen either an interpretative or analytical thesis statement. Outline the steps necessary for grasping the overall meaning of the artwork. Discuss a particular historical value of art or explain which methodology may suit your analysis best. Sketch the type of evidence that will serve your argument (e.g., formal qualities that express ideas; content that reveals historical beliefs or practices; a context that contravenes the production of art rather than supports it).3. CONTENT ANALYSIS: what or who is depicted?Look at your Research. At this stage, you should have reliable scholarly sources on the topic. Your evidence should be comprehensive enough to support your thesis. Some art values and methods concern content more than context and may be applicable in this discussion. Make sure you explore content on a deep, insightful level. Such exploration may require connecting the genres of art to pictorial conventions. All symbolism and allegorical meanings will require differentiation of a particular manifestation from the general kind.


4. FORMAL ANALYSIS: how is the content expressed?

Look at your Formal Analysis. You already recorded your initial reactions to the work, and you produced a concise analysis of the elements of art and principles of design. Determine whether that analysis is sufficient for your thesis and whether it helps explain the work’s content or context. You may broaden your scope and ask whether the artist succeeded in making the art object. Artistic techniques can help address this issue. Consider detailing the necessary steps involved in the process and ways the artist augmented it (did they make it better, different, or achieved a different result than expected?).

5. HISTORICAL CONTEXT: why was the artwork produced, or what was its function?

Look at your Annotated Bibliography. More research may be required to complete this section because you need to explain how your chosen artwork is a specimen of a particular Period Style (e.g., Renaissance or Interwar Art). That means you must discuss the historical epoch via your chosen artwork. Show your mastery of the material by weaving the art-historical aspects together. The discussion of the Period Style is the crux of your paper that anchors the unique relationship of form and content within its historical context. If you discovered patrons or institutions involved in the work’s creation, discuss them in more detail. Consider if there were important historical events that affected the production of your chosen piece.


Briefly paraphrase your Thesis Statement (as presented above). Justify the evidence you used. Explain why it is essential to look at your artwork or why it requires historical evaluation. Bring your thesis full circle, that is, reveal how your paper produces a new understanding of your artwork or how it resolves an analytical problem. Point to broader implications of learning from this theme (artwork, technique, artist, etc.) or hypothesize a new project your research encourages. Finally, consider including a provocative insight or a pithy quotation from your sources that gives your reader a satisfying learning experience.


Look at your Works Cited submission. At a final stage, you may have more than 5 scholarly sources that you used in your research. Make sure, all sources follow the MLA format.


Revisions from Marjorie Munsterberg, Writing About Art
Editing and Proofreading from the Writing Center of the UNC at Chapel Hill

Revising for Cohesion from the Online Writing Lab of Purdue University


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