Art Analysis

ART-123, Art & Culture

Art Analysis # 1


  • To critically analyze a work of art, exercising the student’s visual observation skills, interpretive methods and research skills.
  • To connect the work of art to the culture in which it was formed. Elements of Culture include values, beliefs, norms, symbols and language and can be found in the artifacts made by a culture.
  • Use critical thinking skills to reflect, analyze and interpret based on evidence.

Learn about art historical analysis in this smarthistory essay

Learn about visual or formal analysis in this smarthistory video


Analyze any piece of artwork from Module 1, Module 2, Module 3 or Module 4


Minimum 250 words (this is approximately 1 page.)



  1. Provide the basic information for the artwork – This may include art title, artist name (if available) date made, location of creation, current location.
  2. Physical Analysis – Describe the materials, mediums and techniques used to create the work. Examples: Carved limestone, oil on canvas, painted cave wall.
  3. Visual (Formal) Analysis: Describe the object so we can visualize it in our minds. This may include size, composition, depth, form and shape, line, color, shadow, texture, pattern, etc.
  4. Cultural Analysis: The subject matter and historical context of the object. This may include iconography, symbolism, commission, patron, political context, economic context, social context
  5. Critical Thinking: Your thoughts about the object. Critical thinking is about asking questions and making connections. Try starting a sentence with:
    1. This technique reminds me of…
    2. The purpose of this object seems similar to…
    3. Looking at this object makes me feel…
    4. This piece of artwork makes me wonder what might happen if…
    5. I am reminded of (an earlier artwork covered in the class) because of…

Academic Honesty

I will only grade your work. I will not grade the work of others. If I have questions about how your paper was written, I will return it to the student, ungraded so that the student has an opportunity to answer my questions, revise and resubmit.

From experience I know that there are many reasons why plagiarism issues occur. If your paper is ever returned to you ungraded, keep in mind that my responses are all about education and helping you reach your best potential.

This class uses SafeAssign to scan papers for plagiarized content. Safeassign is a starting point to identify potential issues.

Here are some links from the STCC Library that may be helpful in clarifying academic honesty and plagiarism for students


There must be a “works cited” section at the end of your paper that includes all the sources you used to write your paper. Use at least 3 sources. EasyBib or BibMe are both helpful tools for creating citations.

Write citations in a manner similar to this:

Author, “Title of article,” in Title of Publication, Date of publication, date you referenced it, copy and paste website.

Example (smarthistory has citations at the bottom of each page that you can copy and paste.)

Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris, “Ashurbanipal Hunting Lions,” in Smarthistory, December 11, 2015, accessed June 29, 2019,


Submitting your assignment


I accept assignments in .doc, .docx, or .pdf file formats. Submitting in these formats ensures that I can write comments on your document if necessary and SafeAssign can scan the document.

If you are writing your paper in a google doc, you must download your paper as a .pdf or .doc or .docx before submitting to Blackboard.


Grading Rubric

I will use this rubric to grade your paper. Use it as a guide while writing your paper.

  0% 33% 66% 100%
Physical + Visual Analysis: Did not address Began to analyze Mostly analyzed Fully analyzed
Cultural Analysis: Did not address Began to analyze Mostly analyzed Fully analyzed
Critical Thinking (your own thoughts): Did not address Began to analyze Mostly analyzed Fully analyzed
Clearly Written Meaning unclear/more than 10 grammatical errors Meaning begins to be clear/5-10 grammatical errors Meaning is mostly clear/3-5 grammatical errors Clearly written/0-2 grammatical errors
Cited Sources: no citations 1 correctly cited source 2 correctly cited sources 3 correctly cited sources
Extra points for awesomeness: Extra points for outstanding work