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In this exercise we build our skills at visual analysis. This is a two-part exercise. You must complete Part One before attempting Part Two.
In Part One of this exercise you attempt to analyze a painting based only on what you see in the painting itself. It is a very large painting – about 9 x 11.5 feet! – and it was made with oil paint on canvas (we will learn about these materials in the second half of the course). The painting was created in 1814, over 200 years ago. That means there will be some things in the painting – content elements – that you will not be able to identify with any precision. That’s ok. There is enough information in the painting for you to be able to identify the elements in general terms. And anyway your focus is more on form than content, right?
Please note that the painting has disturbing subject matter. It is one of the first paintings in Western art history to document and protest abuse of power. It does so by showing that abuse.
1. If it has been a few days, review the sample visual analysis in the last reading (the analysis of Bellini’s Madonna of the Meadow).
2. Scroll to the bottom of this page and study the image you see. Spend 20-30 minutes (at least!) taking notes on the form and content of the painting.
3. Using your notes, write a 3-4 paragraph visual analysis of the painting.
Your analysis should be detailed and comprehensive
Your analysis should be objective and based only on what you can see in the painting
Use the technical vocabulary you learned in the last module
4. Upload your visual analysis to Making Sense of Art (Part One)
Use a common word-processing program, such as Microsoft Word.
Do not use a smartphone to create and submit your work.
Do not enter your text into the Comments field.
Important Note: This assignment does not depend on knowing information about the painting. The exercise requires that you work only from what you can see yourself in the image. Avoid the temptation to search the painting up! Submissions that use information, ideas, or words from other sources will be downgraded.