visual analysis essay on artwork

The assignment is an visual art analysis about an artwork of choice.

Below is the instructions and the artwork and tombstone are attached.

Write about the piece using the Prown Method (below), starting from the inception of the piece by the artist to its completion – think about how the artist created this work. You may not use 1st person in this final essay. Write with active verbs, avoiding passive tense. You may have an opening paragraph to introduce the work in general and where you are going in your paper. Really look at the piece to analyze it visually using formal art terms of manufacture and formal elements, such as line, shape, texture, dimensionality, etc. You need to use Chicago Manual of Style Online to cite any references used for the work, e.g. the museum label, research materials at the museum or found online. For example, to cite a website, use this format:

Last Name, First Name. “Page Title.” Website Title. Web Address (retrieved Date Accessed).

4. Your paper should be approximately 1-2 pages in length with between 1/2″ to 1″ margins all around, double-spaced, preferably justified margins, and 10-12 pt. size in an easily legible font, such as Times New Roman, Helvetica, Garamond, Geneva, Bookman Antigua, or Century Gothic.

5. You need to have a cover sheet with an image of the work and its tombstone, plus your name, the course name and course number, course section number, instructor name, and the date.

Prown Method

1. Description

a. substantial analysis

physical dimensions



b. formal analysis

2-D (if relevant for your piece)

3-D (if relevant for your piece)




c. content

overt subject matter (This means you should write about what you can say about the piece without reading the label or knowing exactly what the artist intended — for example if your work is an intimate scene of 2 adults and a child huddled together, you can guess safely that this is a family and you may find out later through a little bit of research on the artist’s intentions that the image represents the “Holy Family” of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus from the Christian religion, but you should not say that here.)

2. Deduction

a. sensory engagement (This part should help you react to the piece and guide your thoughts about your reactions, and then you can use these ideas in the final paper for how the work was perhaps intended by the artist to affect all viewers.)

see (if relevant for your piece)

hear (if relevant for your piece)

touch (if relevant for your piece)

smell (if relevant for your piece)

taste (if relevant for your piece)

b. emotional response (your reaction — again to help you in the final paper for how the work was perhaps intended by the artist to affect all viewers.)

joy, fright, awe, etc.

c. intellectual

what it does/represents (Here you can start digging into what the piece may represent beyond overt subject matter.)



3. Speculation

a. theories and hypotheses (Make intelligent guesses about what the piece actually represents or the reason the artist made this piece and how and why you think these ideas.)

review descriptive, deductive stages

theorize, hypothesize based on evidence Be sure to cite your research fully using Chicago Manual of Style.)