History Comparison Paper


Abraham Lincoln University

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OBJECTIVE: This paper is designed to engage students in studying and writing about works of art. The paper comprises 20% of the final grade and is due onThursday, April16, 2020. No late work will be accepted. Each student must write a 4 (complete) page paper comparing the visual properties (both formal elements and subject matter) of two works of art/architecture. The ROYAL OMAN OPERA HOUSE VS INTERIOR EXETER CATHEDRAL You must staple a scanned image or photograph of the local work of art or architecture to your paper (ROYAL OMAN OPERA). Pages should be numbered. You will lose one letter grade from your final score if your paper is not spell-checked. Your paper must be submitted to turnitin.com prior to class on the day that it is due. Your paper will be considered late and won’t be graded until these submissions are complete. You may select a work (painting, sculpture, architecture, installation) from any location, as long as you can see this work in person with this assignment sheet in your hand (seeing it on the Internet DOES NOT COUNT). Feel free to choose a non-Western work. In your introduction to your paper, describe the details about your work (location, artist/architect, date of work, medium, dimensions). In the body of your paper, make sure that you compare the most relevant parts of both your work and the work from Stokstad (specify the figure number when you first introduce the work)it is Interior, Exeter cathedral . You must have a thesis statement at the end of your introduction. Underline or bold thesis statement in your final paper. Your thesis statement should be precise, including both the formal elements that you are going to discuss and their effect on the viewer. Average thesis statements: 1) Despite being separated by over 150 years, Monticello and the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse convey similar messages through their art and architecture while retaining their distinct characteristics. 2) While Donatello’s statue David and the Desert Storm Memorial by Steve Shields differ in significant ways, such as texture and composition, they are similar in subject matter and medium. Good thesis statements: 1 1) Despite being separated by over 150 years, Monticello and the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse convey similar messages through their use of the Neoclassical style.The common overall messages of Monticello and the Courthouse are simple and politically driven, presenting statements of democracy, strength, and pride. 2) While Donatello’s statue David and the Desert Storm Memorial by Steve Shields differ in significant ways, such as texture and composition, they both utilize a heroic and realistic style to celebrate ancient and modern warriors. Good introductory paragraph: Liz Vidal, University of Evansville alumnae, painted “Untitled” in 2004, in honor of the annual Vagina Monologues, presented by the Women’s Awareness group. It is located in a local Evansville home and was handed down to the current owner. The painting’s height and width are approximately 66 by 90 inches, which is about the size of a twin size bedspread. The artist used unconventional medium, strong brushstrokes, deep colors on a lightweight and light-colored canvas. “Untitled” can be related, in a sense, to the sculpture, “Yakshi from Dadargani,” which was created during the late Muryan period. The sculpture, made of polished sandstone, stretches 64 inches tall, and is located in the Patna Museum, in Buddha Marg, Patna, Bihar. Of the formal elements, both works emphasize form and line, while “Untitled” emphasizes color and light, and the Yakshi sculpture emphasizes shape and decoration. With respect to form, each piece serves to recognize the curviness and softness or the female figure; it is neither hidden, nor exploited but celebrated in its entirety. Both pieces choose to emphasize the importance of women in society and the voluptuous health and vitality women offer in order to sustain humanity. Remember, if you take information from your textbook or a museum placard, it must be acknowledged by the use of citation (parenthetical, endnotes, or footnotes) in your paper. You must then add a bibliography to your paper, which will not count as part of the four pages. I have placed Sylvan Barnet’s Short Guide to Writing About Art on reserve at the library. It includes a sample formal analysis paper. For more information about formal elements, see the questions below and the “Starter Kit” at the beginning of Stokstad. Visual properties of an artwork include both subject matter and formal elements. Formal elements that you may want to consider in your paper include: MEDIA: What type of art have you chosen? Oil, acrylic, watercolor painting? Chalk or pencil drawing? Sculpture—if so, what is the material? Video or Performance piece—what was the length of the piece? Where was it located? COMPOSITION: How are your works organized? In a simple or complex manner? Symmetrical? Is there a variety or repetition of forms? How do the forms relate to each 2 other in size and placement? Are forms placed close to one another (ie..is it a crowded composition) or are there a lot of empty spaces? COLOR: Wide or narrow range of palette? Warm or cool hues? Primarily light or dark? Are the contrasts of colors moderate or extreme? Is there an emphasis on any particular color or group of colors? LINE: Real or imagined? Mostly horizontals or verticals? Strong diagonals? Essentially curvilinear? Are forms defined by line? Does drawing seem to be emphasized more than color? Is line used to convey the idea of movement? TREATMENT OF LIGHT AND DARK: Can you tell the source of light? From where is it coming? Is it meant to be natural or unnatural light? Is the source consistent throughout the painting? Does the light create strong contrasts of highlights and shadows (chiaroscuro)? Are shadows important? SPACE/PERSPECTIVE: Deep space? Shallow space? Is there a logical progression from foreground, to middle ground, to the distance? With what techniques is the illusion of space created (examples: overlapping of forms, foreshortening, linear perspective—we will talk about these techniques more in class) TEXTURE: If you have chosen several paintings, is the texture of the paint smooth or rough? If you have chosen sculpture, what is the texture of the sculpted material? SCALE AND SHAPE OF WORKS: Are they large or small? Horizontally or vertically oriented? What bearing does its size have on its impact? What is the relation of forms or shapes in the work to the frame? HANDLING OF PAINT (IF APPLICABLE):Would you describe your works as linear or painterly and why? Do you see individual brushstrokes? What is the application of paint like? Is it the same all over the canvases? What is the medium used (oil, tempera, combination)? ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: -When you use information from a museum label/placard, you must acknowledge the source of this information by using a footnote or an endnote. -Artworks should be underlined or italicized. -When you first mention an artist, use his/her complete name and birth and death dates. After that, refer to the artist by his/her last name. -You will be penalized if your paper reads like a checklist to the aforementioned formal analysis questions. Think about focusing on the most important formal elements and using transitions both between and within your paragraphs. -Do not use first or second person in your paper. -I will deduct a complete letter grade for each day that a paper is late. -I will post some sample good papers written by former students. Art History 209 Writing Rubric for Formal Analysis Papers Introduction 3 The introduction attracts the reader's attention and establishes the importance of the issue. The introduction is clear and somewhat captivating, but some detail or clarification regarding the importance of the issue may be lacking. Very little indication is present of why the issue is important or relevant, and the introduction is largely not compelling. The author has not targeted the paper to the appropriate audience. Thesis The thesis statement is clear, complete and is either bolded or underlined. The thesis statement is complete but lacks stylistic sophistication. The thesis statement is incomplete or unclear. Language Usage, Grammar, and Mechanics The paper uses correct spelling and punctuation. Sentences are clear and easy to understand. The paper exhibits effective word choice and syntax. The paper contains occasional but limited errors in syntax, grammar, and punctuation. The paper contains frequent errors in syntax, grammar, and punctuation. The meaning of some sentences is hard to discern. The paper has not been spellchecked. Formal Analysis Comprehension By actively engaging with two works of art, the author has comprehensively identified the key formal artistic elements in his/her artworks and analyzed how previous artistic styles and cultural contexts have influenced these works. The essay demonstrates a thorough understanding of artistic intent and a mastery of factual knowledge about the chronological periods under discussion in this essay. The essay displays a limited comprehension of formal analysis and has an incomplete discussion of previous artistic styles and cultural contexts. The essay demonstrates a restricted understanding of artistic intent and a limited amount of factual knowledge about the chronological periods under discussion in this essay. The essay reflects a very limited engagement with these works of art. The essay displays no understanding of formal analysis and does not discuss previous artistic styles and cultural contexts. The essay does not demonstrate an understanding of artistic intent nor factual knowledge about the chronological periods under discussion in this essay. The essay reflects no engagement with these works of art. Support for position (thesis) / Use of evidence Reasons, concrete examples, or evidence are used sufficiently and effectively to 4 support the main points of the paper. The paper provides the source and significance of each piece of evidence. The ideas are non-trivial and show evidence of author's own thinking. The author has identified key factors in his/her personal appreciation of these two works of art. Reasons, concrete examples, or evidence are used to support the main points of the paper, but the quality of some of the support is questionable. There is little evidence of creative or original thinking. The author has little to no understanding of the key factors in his/her personal appreciation of these two works of art. Insufficient reasons, evidence, or examples are present to support the main points of the paper, or the evidence and examples are not applicable to the points being made. The author has no understanding of the key factors in his/her personal appreciation of these two works of art. Organization and Coherence The essay as a whole has a logical and compelling order that moves the reader through the text. Paragraphs are well developed and relate to the thesisin a coherent way. Sentences are clear and complete. Transitions between paragraphs are present and effective. The paper does not sound like a list of answers to the questions on the handout for this paper. The overall organization of the essay is lacking in coherence at times. There is acceptable paragraph construction, but some paragraphs may be lacking in development or unity. Some unnecessary sentences or ideas may be present which detractfrom the thesis. Transitions between and within paragraphs are not consistently used. The flow of the text is difficult to follow or significantly deviates from the thesis. There is a lack of acceptable paragraph construction. Many of the sentences are overly simplistic, repetitive, or stray from the main idea of the paragraph. There are few transitions between paragraphs. **The professor will not mark everything on your paper but will point out patterns that need attention. As a critical thinker, you are responsible for recognizing these patterns in their entirety in your own work.** Total Score Comments: 5 6 Doe 1 Wadlow and Washington: Americans with Pride The culture of the United States of America runs deep with the revered notions of pride and strength in a nation built upon revolution and war. These philosophies, however, are in no way limited to the battlefield. Through various forms of media—art, music, television, and literature—pride transforms from an intangible idea to a solid creation. Sculpture, for example, takes a person or an object and freezes them in time, highlighting characteristics most pertinent to the subject. Standing nearly 9 feet (8 feet 11.09 inches) tall and right across the street from the Alton Museum of History and Art, the bronze sculpture of Robert Pershing Wadlow of Alton, Illinois is an absolute marvel, depicting a man of great pride and inner strength. Sculpted by Edward Engelhardt Giberson in 1985, the statue is a life-size depiction of Wadlow, the tallest man in the world (Brannan 125). In the same way, Jean-Antoine Houdon's Neoclassical George Washington (marble; fig. 29-40), made between 1788 and 1792, presents a proud man who looks very dignified and regal in the way America's first president should, housed in the State Capitol building in Richmond, Virginia (Stokstad 938). While both Wadlow and Washington lived vastly different lives, it is through their respective sculpture that many similarities between the two develop—most notably, through the use of clothing, facial expression, pose, accessories, and the backstory surrounding these two pieces that all emphasize the value of pride and the willingness to sacrifice their comfort for the sake of home and country. Each of these brave men deserves recognition, if not for the same reasons. More than anything, Giberson's statue of Robert Wadlow is a memorial—an ode to a man who lived such an eventful life in so little time. Wadlow died when he was only twenty-two years old, though he left behind a legacy that lasts to this day. While it is true that Wadlow is Doe 2 known around the world as the tallest man to inhabit the planet, this is not necessarily the reason why he is so revered now, seventy-two years after his death. In fact, the Rotary and Optimist clubs around the Alton area—the clubs who had commissioned the statue—explained that, "it was not his great size, but his undaunted spirit, humor and gentle demeanor in the face of his handicap that made him worthy of remembrance" (Brannan 124). Wadlow held himself proudly, never allowing trivial taunts or insults to irk him. Though he probably never imagined that he would have to deal with something like this, he handled the effects of his disease remarkably well. His diagnosis of gigantism was an extreme case and was, in many respects, celebrated (Brannan 127). For Wadlow, however, this was merely his life; he would not sell himself to the media. He wanted nothing more than to be normal, not some freak with long arms and even longer legs. It was only later in his life that he agreed to tour the country and showcase his height—this, he felt, was an obligation to his family and his career, as he could not become a lawyer and make money like he wanted (Dunphy 143). Similarly, George Washington wished for nothing more than a simple life on his farm in Mount Vernon. After the American Revolutionary War, this is exactly what he attempted to do— to retire to a familiar place he called home. As the commander of the Continental Army, Washington could have easily used his position to gain significant political power, but he chose not to (Stokstad 938). In the end, of course, he was named the first president of the United States, though with all of this power probably came great reluctance. Like Wadlow, who felt obligated to use his gigantism to provide money for himself and his family, Washington felt obligated to run a country who loved him and whom he loved and fought for in return. Being able to retire once again in Mount Vernon was probably a very happy moment for Washington, for he left the presidency in capable hands and returned to the home and the life he loved. He is a true Doe 3 American hero, and it is no wonder that Houdon, who sculpted many statues of important persons such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, was commissioned to create a sculpture in honor of this brave Founder of the United States (Stokstad 937). Though the story behind each of these prominent figures contributes to the overall effect of each piece, the greatest physical similarity between the Wadlow and Washington statues is in the way in which they hold themselves. Giberson and Houdon both depict strong, upright men who tower above the viewer. They are both set on a pedestal with their name engraved into the stone, further adding to their immense height. It is impossible to see the entirety of these sculptures while staring straight ahead (with Washington, it is only possible if one were around 6 feet tall). The viewer must tilt their head upward, and in doing so, immediately sense that who they are looking at is a very important person. Washington especially exudes this trait. True to Neoclassical sculpture, he looks very much like a strong Roman figure, his pose and his body language demanding the room's presence. Though portrayed much more genially, Wadlow holds his own as the main attraction of the small enclosure where he is situated. The statue sits right next to a street, and it is very difficult for one to train their eyes away from the statue as they drive by. He takes up a great deal of space, his body language very welcoming and warm. As one looks up at Wadlow's face, it is no wonder how the term "gentle giant" came to be when describing the kind man (Brannan 142). Giberson accurately gives Wadlow a gentle face and a contented smile, much like the one Wadlow would be seen with in town. This is the face of a man who is not bothered by the fact that he is unlike the others around him. Wadlow holds his head high, staring straight ahead into space, showing that he is proud of who he is, proud that he will not allow his body to hinder him in any way. Likewise, Washington's eyes stare straight ahead, and, below, a strong chin juts out proudly. His smooth, stoic face is devoid of any intense Doe 4 expression that emphasizes yet another trait of Neoclassicism. There could be some significance in this particular arrangement of his face; perhaps Washington is looking ahead, watching calmly as his responsibility to lead his country looms ever nearer. This statue does not depict a man who would shrink away from this duty. Even though he may not fully want it, he embraces the responsibility, conveying a solid hope with which the loyal masses of America cling to for security. To further highlight Washington's pride in his country and the strength in which he defends it, Houdon cleverly gives his sculpture contemporary dress as opposed to a more Romanesque wardrobe—the clothing he wears suggests the outfit of a military general, not unlike something Washington would wear during the American Revolutionary War (Stokstad 938). The long coat flares out around his hips, the line of buttons drawing the viewer's eye from the bottom of the coat toward Washington's face. The trousers and boots are form fitting to accentuate the power behind legs trained for war. The wrinkles in the garments provide a realistic element to the otherwise apathetic, smooth, unblemished Washington. They make him human. They paint an image to convey the notion that even though Washington has the responsibly of the country on his shoulders, that he is possibly one of the most important people in American history, he can still relate to every American, from those under the poverty line to the abundantly wealthy. He is the voice of the people, and he intends to make sure eve ...
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