Laude Monet Houses of Parliament, Sunlight Effect, 1903 & Godfried Schalcken, A young Man Blowing a Torch to Light a Candel 1962-1969

Assignment Overview

Write a paper on a pair of artworks from the selected list of works held at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, focusing on a major theme that connects the works and/or sets them apart. Once youi??ve chosen the work, go back and take detailed notes on its subject matter, composition, historical context, etc. You are not to rely on illustrations or reproductions i?? either printed in books or found online i?? as the goal of this assignment is to experience a work directly.

Outline of Writing Requirements

1. Regarding overall structure, begin with your basic thesis or argument regarding your interpretation of the works. Then proceed with a detailed discussion of information supporting your introductory opinions, ending with a conclusion

2. Explain carefully how the images are presented, or the style of the works. Describe the composition, brushwork, color, spatial depth or surface pattern, and use of line. Most importantly, explain how these technical and stylistic choices help create the overall expressive effect of the painting or sculpture. What do you think the artist was trying to communicate to the viewer?

3. Thoroughly consider the subject matter, beginning with a description of the images in the artwork. 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 it done from imagination? Does the event or person depicted relate to current political or social issues? Does the work have any religious or spiritual meaning? How does it typify the artistic movement or to the historical moment to which it belongs? Note that in general, lengthy biographical expositions are not necessary. Stick more closely to a comparison of styles and movements (Renaissance, Impressionism, etc.) as a means of exploring your artworks.

4. Refer to authoritative sources. Your discussion must include researched information. Use books, articles, interviews (when possible), and other credible sources.

5. Above all, keep your thesis in mind. Think about the big picture of why youi??re writing about these works. Doni??t list off details or facts. Take all of the information you find and observe as a means for making an argument. The main point is to utilize the knowledge you have gained in class, through the Museum trip, and through your own research to write a unique paper using your own thoughts and words.

Discussion Prompts:
How do both Monet and Schalcken focus on light to add emotion their works? What
moods does either evoke?
Whati??s different about the light sources they use and the effect on the painting? What about color? Brushstroke?
Notice that both works rely just as much on shadow to hide their subjects as they use light to reveal them. How does this add drama to the otherwise simple images?