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Oct 20, 2023


For this homework, you are to discuss the form, content, and subject matter of a work of art chosen from the list provided. This is an exercise in recognizing visual elements and principles of design in works of art and demonstrating an understanding of how they relate to each other to create meaning. This paper is about looking and seeing. This is not a research paper; you will not need to do additional research. Please follow the outline provided below.

First: Select a work of art

Select one of the following listed works of art:

1. Circle of Diego Quispe Tito. The Virgin of Carmel Saving Souls in Purgatory. Late 17th century. Fig. 1.22, pg. 17.
2. Henri Matisse. Large Reclining Nude. 1935. Fig. 4.24, pg. 85.
3. Faith Ringgold. Tar Beach. 1988. Fig. 13.18, pg. 219.
4. Henry Ossawa Tanner. The Banjo Lesson. 1893. Fig. 21.15, pg. 373
5. Andy Warhol. Marilyn Diptych. 1962. Fig. 24.23, pg. 447.

I. Format

Describe the use of each visual element and principle of design in the order they are listed in the outline. You can simply list each term and address how it is used in the painting. If you write in paragraph form be sure to identify each term clearly. Any term not addressed will receive 0 points. Provide specific examples. For example, don`t just say "there are lines," give specific examples of how line is used in the piece you`ve selected.

II. Introduction (First Paragraph)

In the first paragraph, called the introduction, you will include:

An identification of the work of art you selected: The name of the artist, title (which is underlined or italicized every time you use the title in your paper), date, and medium.

Your initial interpretation of the subject based on your initial observations.

III. Description

Describe how each of the following is used in the piece you selected.

IV. Visual Elements:

A. Line: What types of lines do you see in the piece? Provide examples.

B. Shape: What types of shapes do you see? Provide examples.

C. Mass: How is mass implied?

D. Space: How is the illusion of space created in the piece?

E. Time and Motion: Are time and motion evident in tis piece? How so?

F. Light: How is light used here?

G. Color: How does the artist use color?

H. Texture: How does the artist create the illusion of texture, or incorporate actual texture

V. Principles of Design

A. Unity and Variety: In what way is this piece unified and how is variety integrated.

B. Balance: how is the piece balanced and how does the artist accomplish this.

C. Emphasis and Subordination: What is the focal point and how is it emphasized?

D. Directional Forces: what leads our attention to the area of emphasis?

E. Contrast: Are elements that are strongly different? Consider colors and value also.

F. Repetition and Rhythm: What elements repeat in the composition

G. Scale and Proportion: Consider the relationships between things and their size.

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