A short work of analytical writing regarding a painting from anywhere between the late Middle Ages and the
High Renaissance/Mannerist period(between the 12th and 17th century. You must make an assertion (say
something that you have observed that is interesting or worth talking about regarding the work, in other
words a thesis) and then proceed to show me what about the visual parts of the painting lend to that idea.
Biographical information, as a short preface or in service of your points.Your paper should include a number
of the following terms, ideas, and considerations if they are contained in your work and relate to your
Space: Instances of overlap, foreshortening, relative scale, linear and atmospheric perspective, and whether
the space is shallow or deep.
Color and Brightness: Chiaroscuro, contrast, range of saturation levels, ranges of brightness levels, warm
and cool, sfumato
Stylization and Naturalism: Strong lines, flatness, whether the work is in the service of an ideal or a
realistic depiction. See the previous PowerPoint for the list of questions to ask regarding a work’s
naturalism or stylized aspects.
Line quality, organic/geometric form, architectural/figural form: Thick, thin, incomplete/dotted, varied,
curvy, straight are all qualities of line you should look for. Is the work exceedingly graphic (built from
lines and line defined shapes and forms) or is there a balance between hard and soft? Questions to ask at
the outset when regarding your painting:
Where does the artist want us to look? What are the most visually emphasized things in the picture? The
second and third most emphasized things?
Is the picture used to promote an idea, or to depict nature as it is? Is it a combination of both things and
what purpose does this serve?
Does the artist believe the narrative is important? Are they more invested in their skill or ideas besides
Where are the artists greatest achievements? Where do they miss the mark or fail altogether?
What is the historical/social/personal context in which the artist is painting this picture?Demonstrating a
knowledge of the visual qualities the picture exhibits is the first priority of this paper. Above all else,
you must be specific in showing me where and what qualities of line, shape, color, and space draw the eyes
attention and how.
Show me what the artist most wants us to look at then how he/she wants us to move around the picture and