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Name(s): Work of Art: (Painting, Sculpture, Architecture) Location and Address; Date and time visited/seen: Analysis:

OUTLINE: (for your guidance; you may also refer to the other guidelines, which you can download from our virtual learning website) I. OBJECT Identification - Title, museum, museum number, provenance, if known. (Provenance refers to the history of ownership of the work.) Subject Matter - Bible, mythology, historical, genre, portrait, landscape. Give source if known, such as a quotation from the Bible. Technical Information - Material, size, condition, etc. II. FORMAL ANALYSIS OF PAINTING (composition and formal organization) A. Line Organization: How does the system of lines and outlines relate to each other? To the whole picture? What is their inherent nature and effect? B. Surface Plane: What is the decorative quality of the two-dimensional organization? Symmetry? Asymmetry? What kind of rhythm? C. Spatial System: How is the illusion of space created? Or is it denied? Does the artist use a system of perspective, or is space suggested through overlapping forms? D. Function of Color: Describe the use of color, if any. Is color here primarily representational (descriptive) or expressive (primarily formal)? In monochrome painting consider variations in tonal values. E. Light: Where is the source of light? In what direction does light fall into the picture? Is light present as such? What is its intensity and character? What does light do for the picture or for the forms in the picture? F. Brushwork: Is it visible? Is it independent of the objects it depicts? Does it produce tight forms, or free irregular spots? How is it related to texture, light, color, plastic form, and rhythm? G. Organization of figures: Their construction, proportions, drapery, stance, action. Are they idealized, or realistic in their forms?

III. FORMAL ANALYSIS OF SCULPTURE A. Type of sculpture: Is it low relief, high relief, a free standing figure, a group of figures, or a combination of these? B. Technical means: Is the sculpture carved out of wood, stone? Is it assembled from many kinds of materials? Or is it modeled in clay or wax, and then cast in bronze? C. Volumes: What kind of volumetric forms are basic to the sculpture? Geometric ones - conic, cubic, pyramidal? Irregular ones - jagged, smooth, organic? How are these forms organized? D. Line: How is line used in the sculpture: Does it have an open or a closed silhouette? Are the dominant linear elements seen in the forms themselves, or are they incised onto the surfaces of the forms? Is there a conflict between the linear and volumetric elements? E. Space: To what degree does the figure displace space? Do the forms and space interpenetrate? Is the work a relief? What creates an illusion of space within it? Is the figure meant to be seen in space in a particular view? Is it frontal? Does it turn in space? Can its composition be understood from one view only? From many views? F. Color: Is color added to the sculpture? Is the color of the material itself important? Does the color have an iconographic significance? Does it have a descriptive or expressive function? G. Light: Has the artist considered the effect of light upon his work? Are the forms arranged so that a particular effect of light and shade will be attained? H. Relation of technique and material to form: Are some of the forms inherent to the carving process, or the modeling process?

IV. FORMAL ANALYSIS OF ARCHITECTURE: (See PDF FILE for guide questions) V. ICONOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS A. Subject: What subject is represented? Does it come from the Old or New Testament; from classical literature, hagiographical writings (lives of the saints) or traditions; renaissance literature, etc.? Is it a scene from the artist's own life? Check the text where known and give the sources (be sure you have read the relevant passage). Has the artist changed the meaning of the original source? B. History of Subject: Is the subject treated in the same way in other contemporary works? Has this been a constant tradition or has the theme varied over the centuries? Is it a new theme without an established iconography? C. Relationship of iconography and form: Do the iconographical demands affect the formal elements? Has the artist felt he/she must include some details which have primarily iconographic,

not formal, significance? Does the artist ignore iconographic traditions in order to assert formal ideas?

V. FUNCTION OF THE WORK Was the work part of a larger decorative program? Was it intended for public viewing or for private study or devotion? How might the function have affected the form? VI. CONTENT What mood or interpretation has the artist expressed through the formal and iconographic elements? VII. STYLE Style is a broad term which includes all the foregoing elements, when they are considered primarily historically. A. The Period Style: (Early or High Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, etc.) B. Style of the School: (National and geographic variations of a style. For instance, Italian vs. Flemish, or German Expressionism vs. Fauvism.) C. Style of the Artist: a. The permanent characteristics of an artist. (What are the non-changing features of an artist's style that reveal his or her authorship? For instance, special ways of handling the brush or cutting the stone, or specific use of perspective modes, or specific color choice, etc.) b. The changing aspects of an artist's style. (How does his mature work differ from the early work? What are the features of this late work? What changes occur as the artist grows and different influences and issues seem to become more important to him or her? VIII. Personal Reflection: (Individual, maximum of 2 paragraphs) (This guide shows you how you can analyze a work of art by looking closely at its component parts. This will certainly help you to understand it and the artist's working methods better. However, a series of unconnected observations on isolated aspects of a work is seldom satisfying. What is important is how these separate factors all work together toward a common goal, such as the communication of an idea, the expression of an emotion, or the solution of a formal or technical problem. Once you have finished writing, step back from the work and look at it afresh. Try to see it as a whole once again. As you write your paper, bear in mind that the ideal essay would evoke for the reader as

vivid and as unified an impression as the work of art has created for you. This is not easy, but it is success on this level which separates an outstanding essay from a merely competent one.)