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How does the medium express texture, color, or decorative detail?

by | Nov 11, 2022 | Art

 

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Research paper Assignment Worth: 25% of grade Consists of an 8-10 page formal analysis, comparison, and interpretation of two ancient Greek artworks. Formal Analysis section of paper: Worth 10% of your grade Due on Canvas: Sunday, October 23, 11:59pm (one minute before midnight) Length: 4-5 pages of text, plus additional pages for images, double spaced, one inch margins on all sides, 12 point Times New Roman font Complete Research paper: Worth 15% of your grade Due on Canvas: Sunday, November 20, 11:59pm (one minute before midnight) This submission must include the formal analysis section of the paper, in addition to the research section. You are allowed to edit the formal analysis section based on the feedback and grade you received. Length: 8-10 pages of text, plus additional pages for images and bibliography, double spaced, one inch margins on all sides, 12 point Times New Roman font ASSIGNMENT: The process of comparing and contrasting two different artworks is fundamental to the discipline of art history, and is an excellent way of understanding culture, myth, and society on a deeper level. Your assignment is to write an 8-10 page research paper that compares and contrasts two ancient Greek artworks, in terms of visual effect and subject matter, and provides your own analysis based on library research. The two artworks you select should be similar to one another in subject matter, motif, meaning, and/or purpose, but different in their creative and aesthetic features. Good artwork pairs might depict the same myth or serve the same purpose (such as tomb statues), but be made by different artists, come from different cities or chronological periods, or otherwise be created with different stylistic features. For instance, you might select two Greek vases that are similar in that they both the depict the myth of Achilles and Penthesilea, but different in that one is an Archaic period black figure vessel and the other is a Classical period red figure vessel. You are only allowed to use one major, canonical Greek artwork (i.e. an artwork that is discussed in class lectures or described in your textbook) in your paper. The other artwork that you discuss should be a less commonly studied object, which you select through library research and/or searches in ArtStor, Google Images, or other online database. If you wish, both of your artworks may be less canonical objects. If you have any questions about whether or not your artwork selections fit these guidelines, please ask. 2 WRITING GUIDE: In the book A Short Guide to Writing About Art, author Sylvan Barnet devotes an entire chapter (Chapter 3) to the writing and organization of comparative essays. This chapter is scanned and available on Canvas. FORMAL ANALYSIS PAPER FORMAT: (Due October 23) Section 1 of paper (2 pages): Formal Analysis of Image One Section 2 of paper (2 pages): Formal Analysis of Image Two This paper is an exercise in visual analysis. Before you begin writing, spend time looking closely at the image. Use the following questions as a guide to looking at and thinking about the image. You need not answer every question – however, you should address each bold heading, in this order, in your paper. 1. Introduction: Your first paragraph should introduce the main points you will address in your paper, and offer a brief description of the scenes shown in each artwork. Subsequent paragraphs should each address a specific visual effect (space, posture, composition, etc.): 2. Space/Setting: Characterize the space that the artist/craftsperson has created within the image. Has he/she offered a panoramic view or narrow view (how far side to side)? A deep/distant view or a shallow stage (how far front to back)? How is his/her construction of space appropriate to his subject matter? Has he/she set the scene with architectural and natural features? Is there empty space in any part of the image and how might that be significant? 3. Line: Where are the dominant lines in the artwork? Are they curved or straight? Bold or barely noticeable? Horizontal, vertical or diagonal? What is the visual effect of these lines in terms of framing, grounding, containing, or connecting other aspects of the image? How do these lines help your eye move through the space of the image, directing your eye (or failing to direct your eye) to certain points in the composition? 4. Composition: How has the artist/craftsperson composed each scene? Are the compositions balanced and proportional? Where are the dominant horizontal, vertical, and diagonal forms? Are they symmetrical on either a vertical or horizontal axis – and, if not, where is the greater weight, the greater color, the greater detail or other features? Are there elements that cross the mid-line of the image, uniting the image – and, if so, how? Does the placement of certain elements or figures highlight them or reduce their importance? Does the scene seem still or busy? Hard and rigid or soft and flowing? How is this appropriate for the subject matter? 5. Figures and Iconography: Do the figures seem dynamic or static? Aloof or engaging? In what directions do they gaze? What is the role of gesture and 3 posture? Do figures in profile (as opposed to front-facing or back-facing) engage or exclude the viewer in the scene? What symbols has the artist included to indicate status (social, political, divine, etc.)? How are the different figures in the scene connected to one another? Note for this section that you are NOT being asked to research the identity of any figures (their names, titles, job positions, etc.). However you can and should talk about the figures in terms of the visual markers of their identities in terms of age, gender, social status, etc. if the artwork is giving you such clues. 6. Medium: What are the advantages and disadvantages of the medium? How does the medium express texture, color, or decorative detail? 7. Impressions: You should then have a paragraph that sums up what you think the dominant impressions or feelings that this artwork’s formal properties would give to its viewer. Does the artwork overall feel welcoming or intimidating, soft or hard, violent or calm, emotional or rational, etc.? 8. Appendix: Your paper should include Appendix pages that contain two color images, one of each of the two artworks you discuss in your paper, along with an appropriate image label that lists artwork title, artist (if known), archaeological provenance, date, and medium. The images should be in color, and be large enough to clearly see and identify the artwork depicted. The Appendix does NOT count in the 4-5 page length requirement for the paper.

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