You are required to view an original piece of art in your area (made in the last 300 years) and compare/contrast it to an ancient work from your text, after analyzing both pieces. Please note: If a museum is not available, try your public library, local community college, or an art gallery for sculptures, parks for statues, or government buildings for paintings. Also, do not forget that architecture is an art form. Look around for a church or an interesting building.
Address the following in your paper:
Identification – Provide Identifying details for each work:
- Artist: Who was the artist?
- Title of the work: What is the title of the work?
- Date: When was the work created?
- Media: How/with what was the work created?
- Location: Where is the work from your area displayed? For the work from your text, please also include the page number.
2) Description – What does each work look like? :
- Provide a description and the subject matter of each work, in detail. (Describe as though you are telling someone who will not be able to see the work so that they can visualize it.)
- Using the “How Do We Talk About Art?” section of the Introduction chapter of our text, identify and discuss 5 formal elements of art that are important to the work or will help to describe the artwork. For instance, do not just tell me there were lines in the work, tell me what kind (straight, curved, horizontal, diagonal, thick, thin, implied, etc.) and tell me how they affect the composition.
- Avoid qualitative words like beautiful, pretty, amazing, terrific, ugly as a method of describing. What is pretty to one person is not pretty to another. Example: If I said I got a pretty flower that smells amazing… would you be able to figure what kind of flower I have?
3) Compare and Contrast the two works:
- Compare and contrast the work to a similar one in your text. For example, if you choose a portrait of a leader, find one in your text; if you choose a building, like a church, find one in your text to compare.
- How are the works similar and how are they different? Is the message or function the same? Is the intended audience different? Do they look alike or not?
- Discuss such things as subject, symbolism, message, purpose (aesthetic, social commentary, propaganda, etc.) and effectiveness of the works. Is there an interesting tie between the historical context (historical aspects) between the works? Is there any interesting comparison between who and how the works were created? You can also comment on similarities and differences in the visual aspects (i.e. color palette, medium, technique, and size of works) and how those create the effectiveness in the works.
- Use strong techniques for writing a compare and contrast essay. Some good methods are side by side style comparisons or block style comparisons.
Format and Submission
- Organize this material into a 4-5 page paper.
- The paper should be double-spaced with a 1” margin and type size 12 pt.
- Name and page number in Header/Footer.
- If using images, include these at the end of the paper. This does not count as part of the 4 page minimum. Also make sure the image size is not too large because it takes a long time to load your paper for grading.
- Essay format (introduction, body, and conclusion.)
- Remember to proofread! Proper spelling and grammar.
- Clear and concise language.
- Please submit your completed paper to the appropriate folder in the Dropbox area of the course.
- Organization of thoughts and ideas.
- Always cite your sources! Use ML style with citations within the body of the text and in the Works Cited (bibliography).
- Please read the document, “Important-Tips to Avoid Plagiarism” located in the Content section.
- Art History, as a discipline, utilizes the ML style.