The tools of formal analysis are the starting point for understanding any work of art;
The tools of formal analysis are the starting point for understanding any work of art; these tools help you realize how a work of art was made and develop a deeper appreciation of it.
Step 1: Examine
- Choose a work of art (1.3.6 (Caravaggio p. 79); or 2.2.27 (Baca p. 224); or 4.1.13 (Rivera p. 576)).
- Start your formal analysis by taking a long look at the artwork using Part I of this book, the elements and principles of art as they relate to your chosen work.
Step 2: Write
Work of Art information:
- State the title, artist, date, dimensions, and medium (what it is made of).
- State the name of the exhibition in which the work was displayed/ where the artwork is located
Draft a thorough, detailed description of the work of art you chose. Be sure to:
- Write your formal analysis. Visually analyze and describe the contents of the work of art. Apply a minimum of 5 elements and 5 principles of art vocabulary words as you discuss the art.
- Include an additional method of analysis that is discussed in chapter 1.10 (Learning Module 2.5) to guide your research in order to understand why the artwork was made and what its message is.
- Investigate the artist’s life when the work was created. Delve into the time and place in which he or she lived.
- What symbols did the artist use, and what was his or her state of mind? Recognize that some artworks are meant to convey distinct messages, which were clear to their contemporary audiences.
- Organize your findings into a combined analysis paper using MLA format. Your analysis should be a minimum of 800 words.
- Use reliable sources. Include your research, as well as your own opinions, to form your interpretation of the artwork.
Before you submit via Turnitin… make sure that you have the following:
- Formal analysis of the work of art selected
- Identify and discuss one additional mode of analysis
- The analysis length should be 3 – 5 pages
- Use MLA format (Times New Roman 12 point size font, double-spaced, appropriate in-text citations, Works Cited page, etc…)
- Cite external sources
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