Visual Analysis Assignment
As a sub-genre of writing, visual analysis is considered, most pertinently, as a basic unit of writing within the field of art history. Scholarly writing, undergraduate research papers, and specialty journals utilized visual analysis to give a condensed, yet detailed, visual description. The usefulness of mastering the visual analysis goes beyond the classroom as it allows you to read a given art object. Most importantly, a visual analysis observes, places emphasis on, and explains particular elements of an art object. At its core, a visual analysis serves to supply a works formal elements- material qualities such as medium, color, line, size, and composition. Based on your assignment in other courses, a visual analysis may include interpretations or a historical reading (however, your visual analysis will only use the visual artifact as evidence). Regardless of a given assignment, a reader should be acquainted with the art object, author, and date of production by the time your analysis begins (if not before).
Assignment: Choose one of the visual artifacts listed on the following page and write a visual analysis of the selected work. By recognizing and articulating your respective artists choices, guide your audience and help them correctly read the visual artifact. Format: 1-2 paragraphs (250 words minimum; 350 words maximum) Proper MLA formatting and a works cited page. 1-inch margins. 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Remember: While you are encouraged to read about the background of the work, please use only visual evidence from your respective work to perform your analysis. You ARE NOT providing historical background about the work in your visual analysis.When writing a visual analysis, make sure to undertake these four main steps:
1) Closely observe and make note of your observations: Go beyond what is immediately apparent and take your time. The more formal elements and artistic considerations you make note of in the pre-writing phase will aid you when it comes time to make your claim. 2) Make a claim: Make a working thesis to guide your visual analysis. Emphasize and make note of the particular formal elements that are vital to making your claim.3) Support your claim with visual details: A true visual analysis goes beyond description. Rather, it picks targeted elements relevant and vital in the creation of your claim. 4) Organize your observances in a logical order: While an infinite number of approaches are possible, make sure to order your analysis in a manner conducive to your claim. Do not provide a rainstorm of unconnected, superfluous information. You may begin with a detail and pan out; provide a basic description of the composition and zoom into close detail; move left to right; begin with a certain focal point or the central element of the composition.

List of Selected Visual ArtifactsChoose one visual artifact from the following list. Click each citation to explore the painting in detail and to learn basic background information about its subject before writing your analysis. However, remember: While you are encouraged to read about the background of the work, please use only visual evidence from your respective work to perform your analysis. You ARE NOT providing historical background about the work in your visual analysis.
Gricault, Theodore. The Raft of the Medusa. 1819, Muse du Louvre, Paris.
Hokusai, Katsushika. Under the Wave off Kanagawa. ca. 1830-32, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Hopper, Edward. Nighthawks. 1942, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago.
Kahlo, Frida. The Two Fridas. 1939, Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City.
Moses, Grandma (Anna Mary Robertson). Calhoun. 1955, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.
Munch, Edvard. The Scream. 1910, Munch Museum, Olso.
O’Keeffe, Georgia. Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue. 1931, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931.
Picasso, Pablo. Guernica. 1937, Museo Reina Sofa, Madrid.
Sherald, Amy. The Bathers. 2015, Private Collection.
Van Gogh, Vincent. The Starry Night. 1889, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Velzquez, Don Diego. Las Meninas. 1656, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

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