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You will write a visual analysis on a portrait of your choice from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Your visual analysis is more than a detailed description of the work; it is an explanation of how formal elements and style facilitate the meaning and interpretation of the piece.

Consider style, medium, effect, intent, etc. Explain how this portrait conveys meaning and how it reflects its period style. Consider social, cultural, religious, or other factors that shaped the work. What specific formal qualities facilitate your understanding? Is this a portrait of the artist (self-portrait) or someone else? How do you interpret this presentation of “self” or “other”? What are we supposed to know about the person in the portrait? Think about the implications of the relationship between artist and subject.

Paper length: this is approximately 3 pages of 12 pt. font, double-spaced.

Include an image of the work you chose.

Observe and describe a work of art from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Identify the work you chose:

1.       Artist 

2.       Title 

3.       Date of creation

4.       Culture of origin (e.g. France, U.S.)

Main part: describe each of the following elements as thoroughly as possible using descriptive language:

  1. Medium
  2. Color

  3. Texture (or implied texture)

  4. Size/scale

  5. Any other formal element not listed here that you notice?

Resources for describing and analyzing art:

1. https://allaplusessays.com/order Why Look at Art? (video, 1:55)

2. https://allaplusessays.com/order The Art of Seeing Art

3. https://allaplusessays.com/order The Skill of Describing

4. https://allaplusessays.com/order Descriptive words to talk about art

5. https://allaplusessays.com/order A more inclusive list of descriptive words

6. https://allaplusessays.com/order Elements and Principles of Art (quick reference)

Elements (“formal qualities”) of art (when you click on a link, scroll down a little and wait a few seconds for the short video to appear):

· space (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

· line  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

· form (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

· texture (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

· color (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

· value (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.


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