Art History Research Paper Introduction Template

All arts students study history of arts as this makes it possible better understand art concepts, analyze masterpieces and art trends. History of arts is rich in events and bright personalities, so there is no lack of materials and topics here. That is why art students are often asked to write art history essays. As a rule, professors give student complete liberty in choosing topics. However, sometimes students have to analyze a certain period of art history that gave birth to a new art trend or even epoch.

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Art history research paper sample

If you have got little or no experience in essay writing and you have been assigned with an essay on history of arts, you should definitely look for art history research paper sample. This is an example paper that will guide you through the process of writing. By having a look at a sample paper of art history you will get an idea of how to make essay outline, write introduction, body and conclusion, choose a topic for your essay etc. It is also very important to write art history essay that will comply with norms and requirements to high school or college essays. A research paper is a very serious type of academic writing, so no mistakes (even minor) are allowed in case you want to get A+ for it. Art history research paper sample can be only used as an example. Never copy and paste text you find online. If you experience problems with your research, ask professionals to help you.

An art history research paper can be written in two forms either critical analysis essay or narrative essay type. The two types of essays can be tactfully used to either make a thorough analysis of the whole thing or else can be simple narrated as a description essay depicting all issues. Though for an effective write a writer must choose over the first one as an analysis drags more eyes in comparison to the other. Expert writers at ProfEssays.com scroll the best possible solutions and understanding the readership develop the most appropriate custom essays.

Just like any other research paper type, the process of writing begins with an introduction followed by body/analysis/argument and conclusion. Introduction is a brief outlook of the subject with a mention of the methods adopted and reasons to undertake them. Body is the detailed segment where a writer must explain on the subject lavishly. Later comes a concluding element, a writer should always give his/her view. Here options to end in an argument, appealing or requesting to ponder further are always open depending on the writer’s will.

Points to remember while writing art history research paper

1. Organize: a research paper as mentioned above should always be organized in a standard form of five paragraph essay including introduction, body and conclusion.

2. Cite references: always while writing an art history paper one requires borrowing information from varied sources. Following the standard art bulletin format these can be easily sorted out either in form of intra textual references, footnote, or endnotes. Though most prefer to use footnotes or endnotes as intra textual references are distracting as placed immediately after a reference use.

3. Illustrations: an art paper on which the entire write is based should be placed within the write; a photocopy of the image is enough to complete the paper. Assign a figure number to the art piece with the author’s name and original publication.

4. Bibliography: this element is the last to come, mentioning of all the works referred or consulted to prepare, these will also include on references that may have been missed on earlier.

Art History Paper Format
An art history research paper in itself is very challenging and demanding but an experienced writer is the one who includes all expectations of the client with professional touch and writing guidelines plus all relevant information on the subject.

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History of art

It is impossible to understand modern art trends without knowing history of arts. Fashion industry shows us that old trends tend to come back. So, do art trends. By studying history of arts, you can better understand meaning and concepts of various masterpieces created by icons in the arts world. History of arts can explain how art was connected to historic events, social trends, inventions of mankind.  As a rule, students love history of art, as it is never boring.  Besides, having completed the course of history of arts, you will learn so much interesting information and see so many paintings, sculptures, graphic, music etc.  Very often students are asked to write essays on history of art.  As a rule, a certain period of arts history is chosen.  One of the possible topics may be “The Renaissance arts” or “Baroque arts.” Every epoch of arts history is thoroughly studied, so you’ll never lack materials to write art history essay.

Art history research paper writing

Every art student has to write a research paper on arts history.  A research paper differs from an essay.  It should contain a deeper analysis and show student’s of knowledge on selected topic.  Art history research paper writing is a very complex process.  You should start with gathering materials for your research paper.  After that it is advisable to make a research paper outline.  At that you have to check requirements to your research paper, preferable reference style, requirements as to form and contents.  These are very important factors to consider before starting research paper writing.  Choice of a topic is another important factor to be considered.  Choose something interesting and something you have competence in.  Experience shows that an interesting topic can create a positive image of a student who has chosen such a topic.

Art history resources

Of course, it is impossible to write a research paper on art history without having reliable and informative art history resources.  Just checking out Wikipedia is not enough, at least for a serious research paper.  That’s why you should spend a certain amount of time looking for necessary materials.  Even if most of your essay or research paper will contain your thoughts, you have to support them with researches performed by prominent scholars.  Look for online sources of information, as well as printed books, magazines and scientific publications.  You need to pay attention to reliability of art history resources.  Do not trust websites having a free hosting.  Use only trusted sources of information.

Choosing topic for art history research paper

This is perhaps the most important stage in research paper writing.  Choosing topic for art history research paper can be a daunting task.  Indeed, some students get lost when they are given freedom in choosing a topic.  As a result they choose something completely uninteresting for a reader.  Your art history research paper topic must be intriguing and interesting both for you and your professor.  If you have got no interest in the topic you have chosen you have very few chances of writing a persuasive essay.  If you have any questions or concerns in regard to art history research paper topic, feel free to contact Professays.com.  Our writers will be happy to help you and are sure to come up with a dozen of creative topic ideas.

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Writing Essays in Art History

Summary:

These OWL resources provide guidance on typical genres with the art history discipline that may appear in professional settings or academic assignments, including museum catalog entries, museum title cards, art history analysis, notetaking, and art history exams.

Contributors:Margaret Sheble
Last Edited: 2016-03-01 09:17:11

Art History Analysis – Formal Analysis and Stylistic Analysis

Typically in an art history class the main essay students will need to write for a final paper or for an exam is a formal or stylistic analysis.

A formal analysis is just what it sounds like – you need to analyze the form of the artwork. This includes the individual design elements – composition, color, line, texture, scale, contrast, etc. Questions to consider in a formal analysis is how do all these elements come together to create this work of art? Think of formal analysis in relation to literature – authors give descriptions of characters or places through the written word. How does an artist convey this same information?

Organize your information and focus on each feature before moving onto the text – it is not ideal to discuss color and jump from line to then in the conclusion discuss color again. First summarize the overall appearance of the work of art – is this a painting? Does the artist use only dark colors? Why heavy brushstrokes? etc and then discuss details of the object – this specific animal is gray, the sky is missing a moon, etc. Again, it is best to be organized and focused in your writing – if you discuss the animals and then the individuals and go back to the animals you run the risk of making your writing unorganized and hard to read. It is also ideal to discuss the focal of the piece – what is in the center? What stands out the most in the piece or takes up most of the composition?

A stylistic approach can be described as an indicator of unique characteristics that analyzes and uses the formal elements (2-D: Line, color, value, shape and 3-D all of those and mass).The point of style is to see all the commonalities in a person’s works, such as the use of paint and brush strokes in Van Gogh’s work. Style can distinguish an artist’s work from others and within their own timeline, geographical regions, etc.

Methods & Theories To Consider:

Expressionism

Instructuralism

Naturalism

Feminism

Formalism

Postmodernism

Social Art History

Biographical Approach

Poststructuralism

Museum Studies

Visual Cultural Studies

Stylistic Analysis Example:

The following is a brief stylistic analysis of two Greek statues, an example of how style has changed because of the “essence of the age.”  Over the years, sculptures of women started off as being plain and fully clothed with no distinct features, to the beautiful Venus/Aphrodite figures most people recognize today. In the mid-seventh century to the early fifth, life-sized standing marble statues of young women, often elaborately dress in gaily painted garments were created known as korai. The earliest korai is a Naxian women to Artemis. The statue wears a tight-fitted, belted peplos, giving the body a very plain look. The earliest korai wore the simpler Dorian peplos, which was a heavy woolen garment. From about 530, most wear a thinner, more elaborate, and brightly painted Ionic linen and himation. A largely contrasting Greek statue to the korai is the Venus de Milo. The Venus from head to toe is six feet seven inches tall.  Her hips suggest that she has had several children. Though her body shows to be heavy, she still seems to almost be weightless. Viewing the Venus de Milo, she changes from side to side. From her right side she seems almost like a pillar and her leg bears most of the weight. She seems be firmly planted into the earth, and since she is looking at the left, her big features such as her waist define her. The Venus de Milo had a band around her right bicep. She had earrings that were brutally stolen, ripping her ears away. Venus was noted for loving necklaces, so it is very possibly she would have had one. It is also possible she had a tiara and bracelets. Venus was normally defined as “golden,” so her hair would have been painted. Two statues in the same region, have throughout history, changed in their style.

Compare and Contrast Essay

Most introductory art history classes will ask students to write a compare and contrast essay about two pieces – examples include comparing and contrasting a medieval to a renaissance painting. It is always best to start with smaller comparisons between the two works of art such as the medium of the piece. Then the comparison can include attention to detail so use of color, subject matter, or iconography. Do the same for contrasting the two pieces – start small. After the foundation is set move on to the analysis and what these comparisons or contrasting material mean – ‘what is the bigger picture here?’ Consider why one artist would wish to show the same subject matter in a different way, how, when, etc are all questions to ask in the compare and contrast essay. If during an exam it would be best to quickly outline the points to make before tackling writing the essay.

Compare and Contrast Example:

Stele of Hammurabi from Susa (modern Shush, Iran), ca. 1792 – 1750 BCE, Basalt, height of stele approx. 7’ height of relief 28’

Compare:

Stele, relief sculpture, Art as propaganda – Hammurabi shows that his law code is approved by the gods, depiction of land in background, Hammurabi on the same place of importance as the god, etc.

Contrast:

Top of this stele shows the relief image of Hammurabi receiving the law code from Shamash, god of justice, Code of Babylonian social law, only two figures shown, different area and time period, etc.

Stele of Naram-sin, Sippar Found at Susa c. 2220 - 2184 bce. Limestone, height 6'6"

Compare:

Stele, relief sculpture, Example of propaganda because the ruler (like the Stele of Hammurabi) shows his power through divine authority, Naramsin is the main character due to his large size, depiction of land in background, etc.

Contrast:

Akkadian art, made of limestone, the stele commemorates a victory of Naramsin, multiple figures are shown specifically soldiers, different area and time period, etc.

Iconography

Regardless of what essay approach you take in class it is absolutely necessary to understand how to analyze the iconography of a work of art and to incorporate into your paper. Iconography is defined as subject matter, what the image means. For example, why do things such as a small dog in a painting in early Northern Renaissance paintings represent sexuality?  Additionally, how can an individual perhaps identify these motifs that keep coming up?

The following is a list of symbols and their meaning in Marriage a la Mode by William Hogarth (1743) that is a series of six paintings that show the story of marriage in Hogarth’s eyes.

  • Man has pockets turned out symbolizing he has lost money and was recently in a fight by the state of his clothes.
  • Lap dog shows loyalty but sniffs at woman’s hat in the husband’s pocket showing sexual exploits.
  • Black dot on husband’s neck believed to be symbol of syphilis.
  •  Mantel full of ugly Chinese porcelain statues symbolizing that the couple has no class.
  • Butler had to go pay bills, you can tell this by the distasteful look on his face and that his pockets are stuffed with bills and papers.
  • Card game just finished up, women has directions to game under foot, shows her easily cheating nature.
  • Paintings of saints line a wall of the background room, isolated from the living, shows the couple’s complete disregard to faith and religion. 
  • The dangers of sexual excess are underscored in the Hograth by placing Cupid among ruins, foreshadowing the inevitable ruin of the marriage.
  • Eventually the series (other five paintings) shows that the woman has an affair, the men duel and die, the woman hangs herself and the father takes her ring off her finger symbolizing the one thing he could salvage from the marriage. 

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