The goal of this formal analysis is to explain how the formal elements of a work
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The goal of this formal analysis is to explain how the formal elements of a work of art affect the representation of the subject matter. The emphasis of your essay should be on analyzing the formal elements, not interpreting the history of the artwork. That said, a description of the formal elements is not enough; you must contextualize the formal elements so the reader understands how each of the visual elements shapes the work’s effect on the viewer. You must provide an argument or main point, which you explain and back up, using formal analysis in each of your body paragraphs.( Needs to be 3 body paragraphs)
Start by looking at the artwork, and taking notes. If you get stuck, return to the visual elements. What is the overall composition? How does the object maker/artist use line, color, shading, etc.? How are the visual elements arranged? Is there a focal point? Is there a sense of movement?
These are the formal analysis elements you can chose from (one for each body paragraph):
Use the terms we’ve gone over so far to discuss the object with the appropriate vocabulary: color, line, composition, negative space, perspective, foreshortening, register, subtractive/additive sculpture, sculpture in the round, high relief, low relief, texture, scale, pattern, form, • Pictorial space, etc…
Introduction: Your thesis statement should appear clearly in the first paragraph, introducing the main point of the essay. The argument throughout your essay should reflect this main thesis statement.
Body: Your paper should be logically organized into paragraphs. It may be helpful to start each paragraph with a sentence that relates to the thesis statement. You should think about the structure of the overall essay before you begin, so that the reader follows a clear plan for your argument.
Conclusion: The end of your essay should briefly summarize what you’ve laid out in the argument. You should however avoid repeating or restating the introduction.
-some background context and object description
-thesis statement (should be the last sentence in intro paragraph)
EXAMPLE THESIS STATEMENT: “In his 1874 painting, The Bridge at Argenteuil, Monet used line, color, and composition
to produce an image of tranquility”
Body Paragraph 1: analysis of line
Body Paragraph 2: analysis of color
Body Paragraph 3: analysis of composition
Conclusion: summary without repetition
Other thesis statement examples:
“In his 1874 painting, The Bridge at Argenteuil, Monet uses loose brushstrokes, a reduced color palette, and en plein air painting to capture the ephemeral effects of sunlight.”
“Monet’s 1874 painting, The Bridge at Argenteuil exemplifies the impressionist movement based on his use of color, line, and form.”
**for such a thesis statement, you must provide comparable examples to another Impressionist work in each body paragraph
All essays must be:
– Times New Roman, 12-pt. font
– with 1-inch margins
The image below is the image to write about and it is the
Watteau, Pilgrimage to Cythera, 1717
(It can be 1.7 -2 pages)