Compare and contrat two Artists: Jean-LA©on GA©rA?mesThe AlmehVs. Henri de Toulouse-LautrecsWoman before a Mirror”

MUSEUM PAPER FALL 2011 19th CENTURY ART (HA215)


Choose one of the following pairs listed below to compare and analyze. Paintings and sculptures are in the nineteenth-century galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Papers must be typed and should be approximately 1750 words in length. Late papers will not be accepted! Be sure that your name, section number and professoras name are on the first page of your paper and that the pages are securely fastened together. Use 12-point font and margins no larger than one inch. Donat forget to print/save a copy. Papers are due in class before Thanksgiving vacation (11/18-24 a check with your professor for the exact date).
GALLERY
AdA©laA?de Labillle-Guiard, Self-Portrait with Two Pupils, 1785 601
Berthe Morisot, The Pink Dress, c. 1820 821

Henry Fuseli, The Night Hag Visiting Lapland Witches, 1796 617
Gustave Courbet, Woman with a Parrot, 1866 811

Corot, A Women Gathering Faggots at Ville daAvray, 1871-74 803
Georges Seurat, Gray Weather, Grande Jatte, 1886-88 823

Jean-LA©on GA©rA?me, The Almeh, 1873 804
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Woman before a Mirror, 1897 822

Edgar Degas, The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, 1880 (bronze cast 1922) 815
Frederick, MacMonnies, Bacchante and Infant Faun, 1894 (American sculpture
courtyard) 700

The purpose of this paper is to describe in your own words the differences and similarities (if any) in style and subject matter of the two paintings or sculptures that you have chosen. Your conclusions will be based on your own observations together with information which you have read about the artists and their work. A good way to structure the paper is to begin with general summary statements (your basic thesis or argument) regarding differences or similarities, and then to proceed with a detailed discussion of information supporting your introductory opinions, ending with a conclusion.

The following points, when appropriate, should be covered within your paper. It is essential that you consider the works in relation to each other, thinking about ways in which they are different or alike:

1. Explain carefully how the images are presented. Describe the composition (for example: is it cropped or symmetrical, how are the figures posed, how are they positioned in space); brushwork (e.g. invisible or sketchy); line (are contours emphasized or eliminated); color; light and shade; and space (flat or deep; describe the viewpoint or angle from which the image was observed). If you are writing about sculpture, discuss differences in handling materials, surfaces, and the relationship of the figure to the surrounding space and viewer. Most important, explain how these technical choices help create the overall expressive effect/mood of the painting or sculpture. What do you think the artist was trying to convey to the viewer about his subject?



2. You must also thoroughly consider the subject matter, beginning with a description of the images in the painting (or sculpture). Is there any narrative action (is anything happening?). Do any of the elements in the work function as symbols? Is the content based on a literary or religious source or a scene from everyday life? Was the work done in a studio or outside? Was a model used or was it based on earlier sketches? Was it done from imagination? Describe the setting, including the location (what country? city?) and time period. Does the event or person depicted relate to current political or social issues? Does the work have any religious or spiritual meaning? Does it reflect cultural attitudes to the subject shown? How does it typify the artistic movement to which it belongs?
Your discussion must include researched information on the life of the artist, the political, social and cultural context (where applicable), and the circumstances impacting the creation of the artwork . Mention if it was commissioned, where it was seen, and how it was interpreted or received by its audience. Include any comments the artist made about this work or about his/her general objectives. Was the painting or sculpture part of a series or related to other work within the artistas oeuvre? Does it reflect any changes in the artistas style? What other (earlier) art influenced this painting or sculpture?

Above all, your paper must be written in your own words except for direct quotes taken from books! Use the vocabulary you understand and construct your own descriptive phrases. Remember we are interested in how you reason about the work and how you evaluate what you read. (Please note: titles of art works are underlined or italicized!) For further questions, consult Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing About Art, N.Y.: Longman, 1997.