Use the pre-writing questions below to help you analyze your images and start writing notes that will help you develop your paper ideas.
1. Claims: What claims does the image make? What type of claim is it?
- Fact Claim: Is it real?
- Definition Claim: What does it mean?
- Cause Claim: What is the Cause? What are the effects? How are these related?
- Value Claim: How important is this? How should we evaluate it?
- Policy Claim: What is the solution? What should we do about it?
2. Visual Composition: How is the image arranged or composed? Which of the following aspects of composition help makes the claim? Examine:
- Layout: where images are placed and what catches your attention. How visual lines draw your attention to or away from the focal point.
- Balance: size of images and how they compare with one another. Is the focal point centered or offset?
- Color: how color (or lack of color) draws your attention or creates a mood
- Key figures: what is the main focus? How does this contribute to meaning?
- Symbols: are there cultural symbols in the image? What do these mean?
- Stereotypes : how does image support stereotypes or challenge them?
- Exclusions: is there anything left out of the image that you expect to be there?
3. Genre: What is the genre of this image? (examples: fine art, movie, advertisement, poster, pamphlet, news photograph, graphic art etc.). How does it follow the rules of that genre or break away from them? How does that affect the meaning of the image for the audience?
4. Text: How does any text or caption work to provide meaning to the visual?
5. Appeals: How does it appeal to the audience to believe the claims? Are appeals to logic? Emotion? Character? Authority? Are any of these appeals false or deceiving?
6. Selling: Does the claim move into a sales pitch? Does it use a cultural value or common cultural symbol in a way that exploits that image?
7. Story: What story does this image convey? How does this story help the claim or appeal to the audience?
Very few paintings today are as popular as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. There may be very many painters today, some of whom may be more skilled than Leonardo; however, there is yet to be a painter who can express facial features on a piece of art as Leonardo did. For instance, Mona Lisa’s smile has been a subject of much debate, given the many articles that have been written to try and describe this smile. Leonardo’s other work of art, christened the Lady with Ermine, also presents facial features in an outstanding manner.
An examination of the Mona Lisa in the present day reveals that the painting has indeed had better days. The original color of the painting appears faded and is almost gone and this is perhaps the reason why the original painting has been repainted at least three times. The painting does not appear to be clean and this can be observed in the greenish glaze on the painting. The repainting of the painting and the greenish glaze makes the painting somewhat different from what Leonardo originally painted. In a bid to understand the Mona Lisa, artists have continued to question the identity of Mona Lisa.
The Mona Lisa has so far been associated with more than 10 different women and some professionals have even stated that she may have been a lover of Leonardo. Some artists have even proposed that the painting depicts a boy and not necessarily a woman as it so obviously appears to be. Some of the interesting descriptions of the painting are that it is Leonardo’s mother, Catherina, his daughter, or even his son. Some artists have even recently described the painting as a self-portrait. Despite its age and the confusion over who is depicted in the painting, the Mona Lisa is still regarded as one of the most popular paintings in the world of today. The painting has indeed stood the test of time and has been written about and reproduced more than any other painting in the world.
The famous painting is currently being exhibited in the Louvre museum, Paris, in a temperature and humidity controlled box that has been embedded in concrete. The museum protects the painting using two sheets of bulletproof glass that have been triple laminated. Even with this high level of care and security accorded to the painting, the museum has placed a couple of guards next to the painting whose main job is to control the flow of the crowd. Given the high level of protection and care granted to the Mona Lisa painting, it is accurate to state that the authentic Mona Lisa is difficult to see. This is especially so because of the huge crowd of tourists who gather in front of this painting every day when the museum is open as well as the numerous flashes from the cameras of the tourists. More than nine million tourists flock the museum on an annual basis just to get a glimpse of the famous painting.
Tips on writing a descriptive essay on a Piece of Art:
Writing descriptive essays is like writing narrative essays, in the sense that both paint a picture for the reader to imagine. Therefore, you have to show your readers through words what you want to describe, not just tell about it. What you should tell the readers is what you are going to describe in your essay in the introductory paragraph, so that they are not confused.
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Back to blogMar 11, 2015
Filed under: Sample Papers — Tags: art essay, descriptive essay — Joan Young @ 11:01 am