Merced River, Yosemite Valley by Bierstadt

Museum Papers Language of World Art Visual Analysis This assignment requires analysis of the chosen work; research on its history and context, and personal assessment. The key component of this assignment is the visual or formal analysis of your chosen work. Visual/Formal analysis refers to how the image looks (color, line, light, and the arrangement of color, line, light, etc.) and principles of design: unity, rhythm and repetition, balance. The second part of the project will address meaning, the paintings context, its location in the museum, and finally a personal assessment of the work and project. Subject matter refers to what the image represents, the story it tells. Context the meaning of each work of art also depends upon its context, meaning the moment in which it was made. Getting Started: While standing in front of the work of art, note its orientation (horizontal or vertical) and describe the subject matter: portrait, landscape, et cetera. Note your observations about the visual elements that you notice immediately. *observe space and depth – how the artist created, or ignored, the sense of three-dimensional space is there perspective *consider the use of light, balance, repetition of form *what colors are included and how are they handled are they more saturated or less saturated * notice the material and how the artist handled it (for example, is the paint applied thickly or thinly?). Does the material appeal to the tactile (surface quality) as well as the visual sense? * how do these visual elements guide your eye through the painting The above are examples to aid your looking and thinking and you should discuss what interests you. The vocabulary that you have learned in class will help you articulate what you are seeing. **Try to incorporate as many of the following words and phrases into the paper as you can: Repetition of Shapes; Sense of Movement; Balance; Depth; Unifying Shapes; Atmospheric Perspective/Aerial Perspective; Implied Light; Chiaroscuro; Rhythm; Color(s); Lines; Gesture(s); Linear Perspective; Vanishing Point; Hue; Value; Chroma; and Saturation What you should include in your paper: The introduction includes the image/s, each artists name, the title of the work of art (underline or italicize it), the date for each work of art, and the period/culture to which it belongs. You must follow this order for the information. A 500-750 word formal analysis of your work This is the opening section The second and final part of the project will include the formal analysis and the following: 1.A discussion of the subject of the painting. Is it religious; is it a portrait; a landscape of a particular place or an imaginary place? Is it a depiction of ordinary life (a genre scene) or a historic event or a scene from literature, a play, or a sacred text like the Bible? 2.Your research will provide information on the work, its history, where it was seen and/or who owned or commissioned the work. 3.Following the analysis of your research, what do you believe the artist was trying to convey (is it a political, religious, historical, personal identity, remember the functions of art but dont say: it is an example of religious or ritual art explain how it fits a particular function). 4.Where is the work located; what other works are in the gallery? Why do you think the curators placed it with these other works? ** Incorporate: It is located among other landscape paintings 5. Lastly, why did you choose this work? What about it drew your attention? ** Incorporate: I choose this work because I felt that the still water along with the mountainous peaks shrouded by cloud cover conveyed a sense of serenity. In the discussion of your choice of work and your assessment of the works location are the ONLY areas of the paper where you can use the first person singular. The discussion of the subject, its history and other relevant information based on your research MUST be conveyed in the third person. I deduct points for this mistake. What you should not include in your paper: You should not use other peoples ideas, writing, or research without properly citing it. To cite properly, see below. You should not use personal references.

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