An important skill in appreciating pictorial art

An important skill in appreciating pictorial art is the ability to analyze various types of pictures critically. This exercise will help you develop and sharpen this skill.

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Examine the Outline and Critical Analysis sample shown at the conclusion of Chapter 2. Access the Artcyclopedia website (Artcyclopedia (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.) and search for one of the following works of art by typing in the artist’s name and then selecting the site where the picture is displayed:

  • Rosa Bonheur: The Horse Fair (National Gallery, London)
  • Caspar David Friedrich: The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (Web Museum)
  • Joseph Wright (of Derby): An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (National Gallery, London)
  • Nicholas Poussin: The Holy Family on the Steps (Cleveland Museum of Art)

Using the textbook example as a guide, write a two-page outline and critical analysis of the piece of art you select. Be sure to include the following headings as part of your paper:

  • Subject Matter and Medium: List the artist, title, date, stylistic movement, medium (the materials the piece is made from), and a general background and description.
  • Composition: Analyze lines, shapes, color schemes, focal areas (perhaps indicated by chiaroscuro), balance, and perspective. Consider the intended purpose of these things in the composition.
  • Artists’ purpose or message: Though this is not included in the textbook example, you should conclude with what you believe was the artists’ purpose or message, whether he or she succeeded in communicating it, and your reaction to the work as a whole.

Be sure to include a convincing, inclusive conclusion at the end of your critical analysis and a bibliography of at least two sources that you used to prepare your analysis, one of which may be Do not use and cite Wikipedia. Instead, visit the Excelsior College Library to learn about academic sources. The page on Evaluating Information Evaluating Information (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. includes helpful sections on “Print vs. Web Resources,” Evaluation Criteria,” Evaluation Scenarios,” and “Media Literacy.”

Write a 500-750 word critical analysis. Follow APA style, using the Excelsior College Library resources on learning to use APA Style. Excelsior College Library resources on learning to use APA Style (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.  Submit the analysis to the assignment dropbox.

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