2 Books and 1 scholarly article for a total of 3 sourcesa bibliography or works cited pagean image of your work (sketch, photo, postcard)cite all information you take from the books and scholarly article in the body of your paper, and create appropriate footnotes at the bottom of each page that contains the reference.You may not find a book or article that focuses solely on your particular work, but you want to look for resources that discuss the artist or perhaps the particular artistic period of your work. how is this work similar or different from other ancient prehistoric sculptures or art.
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Art History 103: Ancient to Medieval
Prof. Maura Huntington De Felice
DUE: FRIDAY, APRIL 27th AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS!!
4-6 pages long (Does not include page for bibliography or images)
1 inch margins on all sides
In general, your paper should have:
1. A work of art dated from between prehistoric (24000) to Medieval (1380s)
2. a TITLE,
3. an introductory paragraph
4. a conclusion.
5. Within your intro you should have a clear thesis statement — Some
sort of statement that ties your whole paper together.
6. 2 Books and 1 scholarly article for a total of 3 sources!!!! (YOU CANNOT
USE YOUR TEXTBOOK AS ONE OF TWO BOOKS)
7. a bibliography or works cited page
8. an image of your work (sketch, photo, postcard)
1. Select a work of art of your choosing. The artwork can be in any medium and from any
time period within the scope of this course (prehistoric to 1380s CE
2. To properly discuss the work, you will read relevant background material to familiarize
yourself with the time period. This means, in addition to reading your textbook, you must
use at least one scholarly article and at least two books that you find in the library.
One of the books must be a scholarly book (meaning a book written by a scholar in the
field: ie. Nancy Ramage, Roman Art). YOU CAN NOT USE YOUR TEXTBOOK AS ONE
OF THESE TWO BOOKS. I dont really want to see encyclopedia entries either. These
sources will be relevant to the work of art youve chosen. You will cite all information
you take from them in the body of your paper, and create appropriate footnotes
at the bottom of each page that contains the reference.
**You may not find a book or article that focuses solely on your particular work, but you
want to look for resources that discuss the artist or perhaps the particular artistic period of
your work. WIKIPEDIA IS NOT A SCHOLARLY SOURCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3. The paper will be a visual/historical analysis, based upon looking at the work and using
your background readings. The focus of the paper is really up to you. What did you find
interesting about the piece? Maybe there was something that you found in your research
that you may want to focus on. You must make your thesis something you can prove using
visual evidence from the piece and backed up by your research.
In composing your paper, you may want to consider the subject matter first, and then
characterized the work as belonging to a larger historical stylistic category and period (such as
Early Classical Greek, Early Christian, Gothic, etc.). Next, describe the various visual properties of
the work in terms of composition, color, light, and space. Since you have the opportunity to
examine the work personally, note especially how the artist applied the paint in different areas and
varied his/her brushstrokes to define different textures and spatial relationships (if your work is a
paintingif it is sculpture, you can examine the artists treatment of the material to create
texture). How do the artists choices reflect the works historical time period or culture or cultural
events? If the piece is Classical Greek, how does the style reflect the Classical Greek style? How
does the subject relate? How does the style or subject reflect the artists world? How does the
work reflect the bigger picture? Finally, write about your personal response to how the artist
presented the subject. Please limit your use of first person to this final aspect of the
Suggested Areas to Touch Upon in Your Paper.
Describe the work carefully using the specific vocabulary we have developed this semester.
o Subject matter or themeWhat is happening? What story or narrative is presented?
Who is portrayed? What landscape is represented? Discuss the subject in terms of
its social and historical context. How does it reflect cultural values?
o Symbolismwhat do the various components mean?
o StyleWhat historical stylistic category and period does the work belong to? What
effect does the style of the work have on how the subject is presented?
o Time periodis it like other objects from the same time? How does the work fit into
its time period? How does it fit into the broader spectrum of art historical periods?
o CompositionWhat are the major elements in the composition? Discuss the
placement and organization of the major elements depicted (such as figures,
structures, objects, clouds, trees).
o ColorWhat are the colors of the painting? Consider how the colors are arranged
and why they are arranged as they are. What effects do the colors have in the
o LightWhat is the source of light? Is there more than one source? How does light
define the major elements and their interrelationship?
o SpaceHow does the artist define spatial relationships? Is the space clearly
defined? How are the various elements related to one another by their position
within the space?
o BrushstrokesDo the brushstrokes define different textures and spatial
o Medium, technique, and materials (is it rough or smooth? Is it damaged or whole?
Are the figures realistic and life-like or stylized and abstract? How was it meant to
o The artists interpretation and expression. Think about the choices the artist made
and how those choices affect the overall meaning of the work. How does it fit into
the artists career? Is it typical of his/her work or something different?
Discuss how this work relates to ones you have studied in class. How are they
Please contextualize your MFA piece within your readings/research. When writing, cite
appropriate texts and authors, and use footnotes (format discussed below) or parenthetical
Special questions for sculpture:
Type of sculptureis the sculpture low relief, high relief, or a free-standing figure? In what
way are you meant to experience/view the objectstraight on? Walk around?
MaterialsHow does the choice of material affect the impression the work creates?
Color and textureWhat is the surface texture: polished, rough, painted? Are there areas
of linear carving (like hair and other details)? How does this affect the play of light on the
work? Consider both the natural colors of the material and any painted color that might
have been added.
LightWhat does the modeling of the surface do to the play of light on the piece? Are
there sharp areas of shadow and light or does light fall evenly across the surface? Are the
forms and surfaces arranged so that particular effect of light and shade occurs?
Illustrations must appear at the end of your paper. You can photocopy them (b/w is fine) print
out a web picture, or provide a postcard. Identify each image as follows: Fig. 1. Leonardo
da Vinci, Mona Lisa (or Mona Lisa), 1500, Louvre, Paris.
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