3-5 Pages essay about a museum object.

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3-5 Pages Essay about this abject, you should describe and analysis it in this way: 

Paper Formal Analysis

Description = pure description of the object
without value judgments,

analysis, or interpretation.

It answers the question, “What do you

The various elements that constitute a
description include:

a. Form of art whether architecture,
sculpture, painting or one of the minor arts

b. Medium of work whether clay, stone,
steel, paint, etc., and technique (tools used)

c. Size and scale of work (relationship
to person and/or frame and/or context)

d. Elements or general shapes (architectural
structural system) within the composition, including building of post-lintel
construction or painting with several figures lined up in a row; identification
of objects

e. Description of axis whether vertical,
diagonal, horizontal, etc.

f. Description of line, including contour
as soft, planar, jagged, etc.

g. Description of how line describes shape
and space
(volume); distinguish between lines of objects and lines of
composition, e.g., thick, thin, variable, irregular, intermittent, indistinct,

h. Relationships between shapes, e.g.,
large and small, overlapping, etc.

i. Description of color and color scheme =

j. Texture of surface or other comments
about execution of work

k. Context of object: original location
and date

Analysis = determining what the features suggest and
deciding why the artist used such features to convey specific ideas.

It answers the question, “How did the artist do it?”

· The various elements that constitute analysis

a. Determination of subject matter through
naming iconographic elements, e.g., historical event, allegory, mythology, etc.

b. Selection of most distinctive features or
whether line, shape, color, texture, etc.

c. Analysis of the principles of design
or composition, e.g., stable,

repetitious, rhythmic, unified, symmetrical,
harmonious, geometric, varied, chaotic, horizontal or vertically oriented, etc.

d. Discussion of how elements or structural
system contribute to appearance of image or function

e. Analysis of use of light and role of color,
e.g., contrast, shadowy,

illogical, warm, cool, symbolic, etc.

f. Treatment of space and landscape, both
real and illusionary (including use of perspective), e.g., compact, deep,
shallow, naturalistic, random

g. Portrayal of movement and how it is

h. Effect of particular medium(s) used

i. Your perceptions of balance, proportion
and scale
(relationships of each part of the composition to the whole and
to each other part) and your emotional

j. Reaction to object or monument

3. Interpretation = establishing the broader context for
this type of art.

It answers the question, “Why did the
artist create it and what does it mean”

Didactics provided by museum

The various elements that constitute
interpretation include:

a. Main idea, overall meaning of the

b. Interpretive Statement: Can I express
what I think the artwork is about in one sentence?

c. Evidence: What evidence inside or
outside the artwork supports my interpretation?

Judgment: Judging a piece of work means giving it rank in
relation to other works and of course considering a very important aspect of
the visual arts; its originality.

Is it a good artwork? (opinion)

What criteria do I think are most appropriate for judging the artwork?

Evidence: What evidence inside or outside the
artwork relates to each criterion?

Judgment: Based on the criteria and evidence,
what is my judgment about the quality of the artwork?

Elements and Principles of Design

Line- what does it imply or suggest

Shapes and Form (positive space)- geometric,

Space (negative space)- blank space that directs
the eye to the focal point.

Texture- surface quality

Value -degree of lightness and darkness

Color -implied mood, emotional state

Principles of Design

and Pattern: use of similar lines, shapes, etc…

and Contrast: The difference between shapes

Rhythm: The
regular repetition of a form

and Movement: Drawing attention to a portion of a composition. Movement
is the visual flow through the composition.

Economy: Using only what is needed to create an intended

Also don’t forget to follow these guidelines: 

Include the title of
the object, production date, and artist’s name within the body of the paper. Good
description of the artwork and media used (media: marble, wood, etc.…), size,
color, shape(s), etc.:________

A well thought out analysis and persuasive paper

Spelling, grammar, and organization of paper:_______

Need at least 3
(e.g. reliable, reputable sources: text books, on-line source-
university lib., museum website, museum literature) to research background of
the object. You can either use MLA or Chicago style citation and
bibliography.  (Do
not cite from Wikipedia). Bibliography is on a separate page and is not
included in the 3-page minimum

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