Writing a thesis is always a tricky enterprise and a real challenge. For art history students, this venture is made even more complex. In their theses, they not only have to translate visual information into the verbal form, but also analyze one’s perception of their study object in the broad cultural and historical context. Moreover, you should do all that in accordance with specific requirements for the art history thesis. Let’s inspect these elements one by one.
1. Formal Analysis
For art students, “formal” refers to the visual aspects of the researched subject, generally speaking, its form. Thus, when you conduct formal analysis, you “write what you see” describing the object, the medium and techniques which the artist used to create it, palette, lighting, composition and its elements, and more. You can also dwell on the symbolism of the elements and emotions they evoke in the viewer separately and as an ensemble. For example, when writing about The Dance by Henri Matisse, you can explain how the colors and minimalism convey the movement.
2. Historical Research
Just as the name suggests, you should conduct a research which will allow you to place the inspected work of art into the historical context and analyze its historical references, even the subtle ones. For example, when writing about Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, you can attribute it to the Art Nouveau style, which was used at the time of the painting, as well as Arts and Crafts. You can also suggest that the play with the dimensionality in the painting is reminiscent of works by the modernists. On the other hand, the painting refers the viewer to the medieval times with some of its elements, and further to the Bronze Age with other elements used for decorative purposes. You can dwell on Klimt’s historical expansion deeper, as you’ll find a lot of noteworthy information during your research.
3. Theory and Criticism
In your thesis paper, you can view the piece of art through the framework of a particular theory. You can choose the one which appeals to you the most, whether it is social constructionism, psychoanalysis, or post-modernism. While it is often convenient to use psychoanalysis when analyzing works by Salvador Dali, can try to avoid such clichés.
4. Comparison and Contrast
Here, you can compare two or more works of art by the same artist, or by different artists who worked in the similar style, or the two works that share the same subject although created with a significant time difference. For example, you could compare Salvador Dali’s The Architectural Angelus of Millet with the original painting The Angelus (L’Angelus) by Jean-François Millet. Expand on how the two paintings, despite sharing the same topic, have different symbolic meanings and evoke different emotions in the viewer. Here, you could also write about Dali’s perception of the original painting which made him create an entirely new interpretation.
5. Good Introduction
Before you start making your notes on the selected work of art, you should write your thesis statement. The latter is the most important part of your thesis, around which you will build your paper. Your thesis statement might be an answer to your research question that will be expanded in your thesis, or your key argument. In case of Klimt, you might state that his art is inspired by the early forms of art as much as it reflects the current trends and falls into the frameworks of the current artistic movements. Don’t also forget that your introduction is where you should make a proper reference to the piece of art by including its name, author, and year.
While some might think that an art history thesis is a “feel it and write it” paper, there are certain aspects of it that should be considered during the writing process. We have used such terms as formal analysis, historical research, theory and criticism, and comparison and contrast, to give you ideas on what to write in your thesis’ body. Remember that one of the key features of a brilliant art history paper is a good introduction which contains your thesis statement that serves as an axis for your art history thesis.
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Posted by Ruth Jennings inHow to Write. Tags: thesis writing
If you are taking this class, you have certainly questioned yourself why you do it at least once. It often seems like the subject is not of a big value and should be learnt only if you are into art or going to compose art history curriculum vitae to become a good expert in future. Also, you have already learnt history, so why bother?
Even though history is an important discipline that shows how people lived, what they did, how the societies functioned, and what was going on during all of the previous years, it, as a school and university course, does not go further the presentation of the factual information. It is a very broad subject that covers all of the human activities, tells the stories of the nations, and shows the evolution of the humankind, the way it influenced the world, and the impact everything around had on it. Yes, it surely looks for the reasons why certain things occurred and teaches to analyze everything in global context.
However, the history courses are usually so limited in time that they have to focus on things, which are more general, and give an overview of the main, most influential, and important figures or event. Hence, it has to omit things that tell about what people felt, thought about, and wanted. Fortunately, there is an area of the history that focuses exactly on those things, and it is called the history of art. To become the person who can be called a real professional in the sphere, it is often needed to write art history resume. Do not forget how important it is to complete this document properly.
If you think by learning this subject you simply look at pictures, sculptures, other forms of art and the way they described, the times people who created the works lived in, you are certainly wrong. All of paintings, buildings, and other magnificent pieces, facts about which can be applied in art history dissertation, crafted by the masters of that days, have interesting backgrounds, depict stories of lives of people, families, nations, and, in many cases, show the inner state of authors. The history of art does far more than looking at genres, forms, styles, analyzing and comparing them. It takes you to the world of your ancestors, allows you to look with their eyes on the state of things in the certain time and place, and helps to understand what they felt and though about this.
As a class in the academic facilities, it is mainly known for teaching all of art forms, their significance, meaning, and development. It shows how to analyze, compare and contrast, evaluate, and perceive all of the forms from different perspectives. This knowledge will give you the possibility to learn the answer for the question “How to write an art history essay?” During the studies, you also realize what beauty and emotional power each masterpiece holds. The course is a great opportunity to not only learn more, but also to develop a personal taste, understand own preferences in art, gain numerous important skills, applicable in all of the spheres, and find out how to write art history assignments.
Taking the given class also means preparing a lot of papers on subjects. However, if you think that writing is not the best way of gaining knowledge, or you just do not have time to complete the task, it is not necessary to force yourself into the homework completion process, as our art history essay writing service is here to cover your back when needed. Pro-Papers experts can work on any types of papers on the subject; they will gladly help you create a flawless work within the stipulated time. Therefore, when you have to write any paper on the history of art, you can always count on us!
It is a discipline, which covers an unbelievable scope of information. It dates back to the earliest periods of Stone Age and comprises everything from there and until now. Due to the numerous researches made and various subjects the history of art is related to, there is a lot of data available on most of the topics. However, it does not make the paperwork on the subject easier, as it is hard to think how to write an art history research paper and what to concentrate on. Luckily, Pro-Papers has a few useful guidelines, which will definitely facilitate your work.
- Pick a perfect topic.
You may wonder what makes a topic perfect, and the answer is pretty simple. Such topic should be interesting and original so that you can write art history article about something you actually like, and the teacher – read a work that will not make him or her fall asleep. A perfect topic must be focused, and, therefore, manageable, not covering too much, but just enough to produce a good art history research paper. More importantly, it has to be researchable, if you do not want to spend most of the time trying to gather arduous data. If the topic fits this mix of requirements, you can surely pick it for your art history writing assignments.
- Research qualitatively.
Some of papers you will write will require you to describe works of art in your own words or tell about your feeling regarding certain pieces. For example, you will face such a situation when you write an art history comparison essay. However, in most of the cases, you will need to have a sufficient informational background to come up with a well-reasoned paper. That will be so when you work on art history assignments, which do not ask you to provide data from literary sources. Hence, it is necessary to find as much information on the topic as you can to have a clear understanding of what to write about. It is especially important with the works like art history presentation, where everything is based on data and conclusions can be derived only with the help of reliable sources.
- Take a position.
If you are working on the art history argumentative essay or any other paper, which requires to include own opinion or take a certain position, it is important to make a choice before you start working. It is crucial to understand that you cannot consider one point to be better than other ones relying merely on a feeling or desire that came out of nowhere. As you have already done a research, you can evaluate data and see what kind of information seems more realistic to you to form a logical opinion based on factual information for your art history thesis paper. Thus, it will be evident that you have thought over details and analyzed them before.
- Outline the work.
When writing about art history, remember that the best example of essay structure is a well-known combination of introduction, body, and conclusion. Outlining the paper, you should decide what kind of information will go to each block and which points exactly do you want to cover in paragraphs. Also, you need to come up with a comprehensive thesis, which will present the whole essay in a single sentence. Art history thesis statement is a thing you have to focus on after you outline all of the other parts so that you can make it more concise and accurate.
- Consider requirements.
All teachers have requirements to homework assignments, and it is necessary to follow them if you want to get a good grade. Hence, make sure that style, format, and word count of the paper comply with guidelines. Also, consider spacing, font, and a number of sources you need to include. Teachers highly appreciate students who take their instructions into consideration and are more loyal to such individuals when it comes to grading papers.
- Check carefully.
Always read the paper upon completion carefully. Even if you are a writing expert, there is no way to make an ideal work from the first time. Typos and slight grammar errors may not be the worst problems in this paper, and proofreading helps to find everything that lowers the quality of writing or worsens the overall impression. You may realize that some of sentences or paragraphs make no sense or do not fit the work, but it is better to face these issues before you submit the paper, than get a bad mark for the hard work you have done.
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