Ompare and Contrast essay ( Art History through the 19th Century)
Compare Raphaels Madonna of the Meadows to Parmigianinos Madonna of the Long Neck.
write a compare and contrast essay in which you analyze the two works based on:
* cultural context
* style (both describe and analyze)
* similarities and difference (what insight does this give us about their respective cultures?)
How are they different? How are they similar? And, most important, why? Pretend you are writing for someone who has never seen or heard of these works; dont forget to start with the basic facts and then work your way up to more sophisticated analysis.
I will be looking for informed engagement on all of these topics for both works and you may want to organize your paragraphs around these topics. You are welcome to do research on the internet, although it is not required. If you do, be sure to avoid plagiarism and cite your sources and include a bibliography.
Remember for the topics you are writing about, you will both describe AND explain. Dont just tell me what but why.
Compare and Contrast essay questions are intended to stimulate you to explore the differences between the period styles of the two works of art compared, and /or the individual styles of the two artists who created them. You may also explore not only the stylistic differences between the two works but discuss the effect that these stylistic differences had on the subject matter, theme or symbolism of the works. Compare should tell you to look for similarities while Contrast should suggest looking for differences. In any compare and contrast analysis you ought to begin with the basics such as identifying the work of art (artist, title, period/style) and giving a description of the work and its special features. The following is a list of issues to consider in this analysis as well as any other in this class:
artist (who produced it?)
period/style (what category of art historical eras does it fall into. For e.g.: High Renaissance, Mannerist, Venetian Renaissance, etc.)
function (what was its purpose? Who was the patron? Is the function religious, political, or for private use? Is there a message for the viewer?)
physical context (how was it used?) how does it relate to its environment? where was it located? is it still in situ?)
description of style (what does it look like? What is its medium materials it is made of? Size? What colors does it use? Is the composition static or dynamic?
analysis of style (why does it look that way? Did the choice of materials used effect its style? Is the style borrowed or developed from an earlier style or original? Is it naturalistic or abstracted from nature? Is it realistic or idealistic? Here is where you need to apply your knowledge to explain the style.)
subject matter (who or what is the subject? Is it religious or secular? Narrative or non-narrative? Is it a genre scene, landscape, portrait, still-life, or historical? Is there a use of symbolism or iconography? This topic doesnt apply to architecture.)
artistic conventions (what reoccurring techniques, devices or motifs are used?)
cultural/historical context (what was going on historically, socially, politically, religiously during the period in which it was produced? The times the artist lived in are a VERY important consideration in attempting to understand a piece of art!)