Assignment must be done by Sunday 3 pm eastern time
Research Assignment: Critical Essay
For this assignment, you will be required to complete a
critical essay about 3 different works of art from the same period and style.
Selected works of art must be chosen from the 1600s to the present (Baroque
period through the Postmodern period).
The goals of a critical essay are to evaluate and analyze
the works of art based on research using the terms, phrases, and concepts that
you have learned throughout the course. The critical aspect of the essay refers
to a detached (objective) attitude, not whether you react positively or
negatively to the works. Research is required.
Your 3 art choices must comply with the following criteria:
The 3 artworks chosen must be of the same style or time
period. The 3 artworks must be by different artists.
Choose from the following styles of art (dated 1600 to
The 3 works of art must have a similar theme. Some examples
include the following:
Works that focus on religious content
Works of political content,
Works of modern architecture
Works depicting women and children
Two of the artworks must be from artists that are discussed
in the textbook.
Note: If you choose a work of art that is not from the
textbook, the artist must be discussed in the text. Begin your search by
reviewing artists in the text. Then, you can search other Internet sources for
his or her other works of art.
Writing the Critical Essay
Use the following as a guide to help you write your critical
Begin with a thesis statement.
Include an introduction that lists the 3 artworks (author
and date of work) and explains the style and the theme of the artworks.
Discuss why you chose these 3 works of art.
Describe each work of art by explaining the following (do
not simply list the information):
What are the materials used?
What is the size?
What is the subject matter? (What is literally depicted?)
What is the focal point?
What is the content? (What is the meaning or message?)
What are the dominant colors?
Is there symbolism? If so, what does it represent?
What are the defining characteristics of the particular
Discuss the artists.
Include a summary of the artists' personal philosophies of
art and the prevailing trends and schools of thought in the art world at the
Was the artist reacting to events of the time period?
Include any information that might help the reader
understand the artist's point of view or why the artist made his or her choices
in this work of art. You may want to find a quote from the artist that explains
his or her philosophy.
Discuss the context of the artwork.
Explain how each work of art fits into the context of the
What was going on at the time?
Did this influence the artist?
Elaborate on the historical events of the time to indicate
how art and culture are interwoven.
Complete a comparative analysis, focusing on the following
Subject matter: What is actually depicted? How are they
Content or meaning: How are they different?
Symbolism: What are the differences in each work, if any?
Aesthetic issues: What makes them different in terms of
form, materials, or overall artistic expression?
End with a conclusion.
Briefly summarize the information, and explain the
significance of the 3 works that you chose. Include your personal overview.
Research is required. In text citations are required. A list
of references to align with the citations is required.
You will need to use the library to learn about the artists.
In the library, complete the following steps:
Click "Find Articles and Books"
Search for the artist's name, the time period or art
movement, or the title of the work of art.
Click "Find Web Resources."
Click "General Studies."
Your final submission should include the following:
A cover page
A fully developed critical essay with an introductory
paragraph (with a thesis statement), a body, and a conclusion
A list of references to align with in-text citations
Images of the 3 works of art that you chose
You are required to comply with APA style format for
quotations, internal citations, and references. For additional information and
resources on APA, visit the APA section of the Library, available under Library
This assignment will also be assessed using additional
criteria provided here.
Please submit your assignment.
For assistance with your assignment, please use your text,
Web resources, and all course materials. Please refer to the following
multimedia course material(s):
Unit 4: Baroque, Enlightenment & Romantic Age
Unit 4: The Baroque Period
Unit 4: Impressionism
Unit 4: Post-Impressionism & Art Nouveau
Unit 4: Avant-garde
Unit 4: The Belle Époque