Your research paper must make a claim about one artwork. It will identify, formally analyze and contextualize ONE artwork

Research Paper


Your research paper must make a claim about one artwork. It will identifyformally analyze and contextualize ONE artwork

The paper will be Six pages in length and consult and cite at least three scholarly sources using Chicago style.

Your paper will contain a specific thesis statement (the claim you are making) and will explain HOW your artwork is representative of its culture.

All papers must be double-spaced with 1″ inch margins all around. Please use Times New Roman 12 pt. font. Please check for spelling and grammatical errors.

You must use proper footnotes and a bibliography. Information you find and use in your paper must be cited properly using footnotes. See the attached sample page as a guide. Papers submitted without footnotes, with footnotes in improper form, or without a proper bibliography will not be accepted.



Your paper will consist of five sections:

Introductory Paragraph with THESIS STATEMENT

Formal Analysis of your artwork (refer back to thesis statement)

Iconography of your artwork (refer back to thesis statement)

Iconology of your artwork (refer back to thesis statement)

Summary Paragraph with reiteration of thesis statement


1. Introductory Paragraph – Identify your artwork and state your thesis.




2. Formal Analysis – Description and analysis of the work in your own words:

Detailed formal description of the works, moving from the general to the specific (Analysis: breaking the whole into parts for understanding.) Include elements and principles of design: subject, lines, medium, color, light, space, composition, scale, and technique. Ask and answer: How does the art work in formal terms?


3. Iconography

Discussion of the content, symbolism and meaning of the work as conveyed through its formal elements. Include information about what story or idea the object depicts.

4. Iconology – Synthesis – Thesis of paper: SO WHAT factor

•Discussion of period style revealed in the form of the artwork and contextualization of the object in a specific movement/era. Thesis communicates to viewer how to see and experience the artworks.

Your synthesis should make clear the relevance of THIS WORK. Your reader should understand why it is meaningful and useful to study the work and form discussions around it.


5. Summary Paragraph – Reiterate your thesis.














Barbara Brushstroke began work on her most famous painting, The Universe in Red, White, and Blue, in 1942.[footnoteRef:1] It is a monumental canvas (eight feet tall and ten feet wide) and it was executed in both oil and acrylic.[footnoteRef:2] As can be seen in the attached copy of the work, it contains large swirls of paint in the colors mentioned in the title as well as many other colors. The swirls are of differing sizes and appear to be placed randomly on the canvas using a large paintbrush. A series of irregular linear shapes cross the canvas at various angles and seem to have been applied by either pouring or splashing since there are no brushstrokes in these linear shapes. [1: Mary Tarte, The Life and Work of Barbara Brushstroke (NY: Routledge, 2002), 2.] [2: Ibid.]

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