PAPER ASSIGNMENT 1:
Painting Visual Analysis
➢ Due via online submission to Canvas 11:59 pm—or before
➢ Submit through Assignments section; must be in .docx or .pdf file format
Required Reading: Sylvan Barnet, “Getting Ideas for Essays” and “Drawing and Painting,” pp.77-97, in A Short Guide to Writing About Art, 2015.
Task: Select a painting from the list below; identify its formal elements; analyze their significance in a 3 page, double spaced essay.
Objectives: 1) employ insightful visual analysis in painting
2) demonstrate proficiency using key terms and concepts
3) cultivate understanding of local (U.S) museum resources. All possible works a are located in collections in the United States.
Directions: First, read Barnet’s section on looking at paintings and writing formal analysis about them (see above). Second, choose one painting from the list I have chosen to study in depth. Third, using Barnet’s guidelines and series of questions, record your impressions of the work. See the attached worksheet for more info.
Finally, in a well-crafted and polished essay, analyze your painting. Describe the work in detail, providing a succinct formal analysis of its chief elements AND how they express the painting’s content (subject-matter, formal elements, meaning/emotional effects).
Important Note: No outside research should be done for this essay. It is okay to ready the GTA entry on the work. However, all ideas, analysis, discussion, conclusions, etc. should be your own. Your essay submission will be linked to Turn It In, a common anti-plagiarism application used at VT for Canvas courses. Your grade may be negatively impacted if it is determined that you borrowed ideas that are not your own.
Choose one of the following paintings (all found in the GTA textbook in the section identified in the caption):
An effective way to organize your essay might be as follows:
First paragraph – introduction and thesis statement. Be sure to identify the genre (still-life, portrait, landscape, domestic scene, non-objective painting, etc.).
Second paragraph – detailed description of the work and subject-matter. Is there a narrative? Are there dominant features, shapes, forms, lines, or other passages?
Middle paragraphs – discussion of relevant formal elements and their significance (see Barnett and worksheet). Be sure to tie these back to your thesis:
• focal point
Final paragraph – summary of argument and conclusion about work’s meaning based on evidence
• present a clear thesis and argument (see Barnet, pp.19-20 for more info)
• be logically organized
• address the majority of elements covered by Barnet (the more the better, though all may not apply)
• employ relevant key terms and concepts discussed in class
• include completed worksheet (see next page). You should submit this via canvas. You can copy and paste it into the end of your essay, or upload it as a separate document.
• be properly formatted: 12-point Times font, 1” margins, double-spaced
PAPER 2 WORKSHEET Due with finished essay
After close observation, fill out each section dealing with visual analysis. Keep in mind that all of these items may or may not be relevant to the work that you choose. See Barnet for more info about each term.