Topic: Formal Analysis


Discipline: Art : Art

Format or citation style: MLA



Chapter Four of the text describes a formal analysis as “the integrated study of the elements and principles of art”. If you have completed the last two discussion topics, you have completed two formal analyses so far. Chapter Four describes content as an artwork’s theme or message. It goes on to say that content is “conveyed primarily through the artwork’s subject matter and through its symbolic or iconographic references”.

After you have fully read the assignment and Chapter Four, chose a work of art from the list below and write both a formal analysis and a content analysis of the piece.

When writing a formal analysis (what it looks like) of the specific work, discuss when and where it was made and how big or small it is. You should also be able to describe at least one FORMAL ELEMENT and one PRINCIPLE OF COMPOSTION. Remember that the FORMAL ELEMENTS include line, shape, color, volume, value, space, texture, pattern, time and movement. The PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION include balance, emphasis and focal point, scale and proportion, pattern, repetition and rhythm and unity and variety. As with the last two assignments, be specific and use the vocabulary from Chapter Two to help support your argument.

When discussing the content (what it means) of the specific work, you must make your argument based on the research that you have done outside of the textbook. Be sure to properly cite your sources.

Write at least FOUR paragraphs and at least 300 – 500 words total in MLA Format. Be clear and use correct grammar and punctuation. Please write as an academic work and proofread before submitting your final work.  You must cite at least two sources for this assignment that are not Wikipedia or the textbook.
You must submit your response in the text box provided. Please do not attach your assignment as a .doc. If you attach your homework instead of including it in the text box, I will not read and and you will not receive a grade for this assignment.

Chose a work of art from the list below:

-The Arnolfini Wedding Portrait by Jan van Eych
-The School of Athens by Rafael
-Judith and Her Maidservant by Artemesia Gentileschi
-Oath of the Horatii by Jacques Louis David
-The Third of May by Francisco Goya
-Oylmpia by Edouard Manet
-Black Square by Kazimir Malevich
-Cut with the Kitchen Knife through the Beer-Belly of the Weimar Republic by Hannah Hoch
-The Treachery of Images by Rene Magritte
-Guernica by Pablo Picasso
-Autumn Rythym (Number 30) by Jackson Pollack
-Whaam! by Roy Lichtenstein

Plagiarism is not acceptable. If you are caught plagiarizing, you will not receive credit for this assignment. You will not be allowed to retake two assignments at the end of the semester.

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