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DEVELOPMENT OF WESTERN ART & IDEAS II SPRING, 2009

AH192-02 (Tue.) AH192-03 (Thur.) Instructor: Daphne L. Rosenzweig

Questions to consider when looking at or writing about a work of art:

1. The basic facts about the work:


a) What is the title?
b) When was the work done?
c) Where was the work done?
d) What medium was used?
e) What is the work’s size?

2. What is the subject of the work?

3. What is the purpose of the work?

4. What is the content of the work (the artist’s message)?

5. What period or movement does the work belong to?

6. What choices did the artist make concerning the formal elements and the principles of design?

7. What is your response to the piece? How did the artist’s formal choices affect your response?

8. How does the work fit into the artist’s career?

9. How does the work fit into the artist’s life?

10. Did the artist use sources, either literary or visual?

11. Are there any contemporary written documents pertaining to the work, either by the artist or by others?
(contracts, letters, biographies, autobiographies, criticism, etc.)

12. What is the work’s relationship to the world view at the time it was created? (consider religion, politics,
economics, science, mathematics, psychology, sociology, and so on)

13. What was the public and critical reaction to the work in its own period?

14. How does the work compare to earlier works or to works being done at the same time?

15. What was the process of the piece? Do written documents exist that help to illuminate the process?
Did the artist use models? Do preliminary sketches or paintings exist?

16. What is the significance of the piece?

17. Is the work symbolic?

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