Your paper should be (double spaced, Times New Roman font, 12-point type with 1” margins) and incorporate at least 4 secondary (research) sources. If using the textbook, a total of five sources are needed.
Please read the following instructions carefully before beginning the project.
1. Select one artwork from the list of images below:
AIC Paper Topics.pdf
You may choose to research one of the corresponding image questions or come up with your own thesis statement. Remember, a thesis statement is a point of view or hypothesis that is grounded in visual evidence and is supported by the historical, cultural, and/or religious background of the work or artists. To get started, you might want to look at the time period and location of where the artwork was made and review the passage in our textbook or on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/.
2. You may want to find an additional work that can support your thesis and/or illuminate some aspects of your discussion or analysis. A good comparison can underline your point or create contrast. Find this comparative work from REVEL, Khan Academy, Heilbrunn Timeline, or the Web Gallery of Art.
3. Use a combination of visual (formal) analysis and secondary research to develop your thesis and the evidence that you will use to support your thesis.
4. At the end of your paper, include a labeled photographic reproduction of your chosen artwork and your Works Cited page (using MLA formatting).
Final Paper Format:
Introduction: This paragraph sets the tone for the rest of the essay by introducing the work of art you are discussing.
1. Identify basic details, such as the artist (if known) or culture, the title of the piece (in italics), the approximate date, the medium, and the dimensions.
2. Briefly explain what style, movement, region, and/ or historical period, that you are investigating. Be specific but keep this portion to a few sentences if possible.
3. State the thesis (your “argument”) that you will “prove” with your visual analysis. Make your focused, narrow, and meaningful. A thesis statement is not a stated fact about your work, such as: Michelangelo is a Renaissance artist; it is an idea, insight, argument, or new way of thinking about the artwork.
Example of a poor thesis: El Greco is a painter of the Catholic spirit.
Example of a poor thesis: El Greco’s dramatic lighting captures the spiritual mood of sixteenth-century Spain.
Example of a strong thesis: In the (name of painting) El Greco employs supernatural lighting to capture the mystical fervor in Spain during the Counter-Reformation.
Example of a poor thesis: Jean-Antoine Watteau’s fête-galante’s are about the French aristocracy.
Example of a strong thesis: Watteau transforms the natural backdrops of his fête-galante’s into artificial scenery to reveal the empty morals and frivolous attitudes of the French aristocracy during the Rococo period.
Use research to obtain ideas and information to support the connection between the art object and your chosen thesis. Build on ideas to develop your own, well-informed observations (but not unsupported suppositions–back up your ideas with the research of others). You may look into iconography (subject matter and symbolism), functionality, content, context, and scholarly interpretations/theories about the work. Be sure to structure this information to support your thesis.
In-text citations and quotations are required.
Conclusion: Summarize your thesis and major points and leave the reader with any parting or “concluding” thoughts in this paragraph.
Illustrations: At the end of your paper, include labeled photographic reproductions of your chosen artworks. The caption should include: the name of the artist (if known) or culture, the title (italicized) of the piece, the approximate date, the medium, and the dimensions. This information can be found in the image caption from the museum label.
Works Cited: Your Works Cited page must include a minimum of 4 sources. They should include representation from the following information sources:
Reference sources (encyclopedias, art dictionaries, etc.)
Books (hard copy or ebooks)
Scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles
Videos or DVDs, hard copy or streaming (Films on Demand from Harper’s Library is a great resource for this assignment)
Museum websites (Art Institute of Chicago, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art in D.C. are good sources)
Reputable, scholarly websites only (Evaluating Websites Checklist should be used to determine appropriateness of website)