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For this assignment, you will visit a virtual art museum and engage in a formal analysis of a
selected artwork, considering the work as primary source. By formal analysis, I am asking you to
consider the artwork’s visual attributes as they relate to the formal elements and principles of
design (listed on page 48). In addition to the visual elements, you will discuss the artist’s choice
Link to the book: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10DgFDoimZsMmX70vG…
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT You will use and apply concepts learned in
Module 2 in Canvas and Part 1 of the textbook (starting on page 48). Before completing this
essay, review pages 44-45 and pages 178-180 of the textbook.
FORMAT AND SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
1- Part One of the Museum Report should be at least 4 full pages in length, no less than
1200 words. Include a word count at the bottom of your essay.
2- Although I am calling this essay a “part” or a “stage” of a writing process, do NOT
submit a draft. You are expected to submit a fully complete essay for both Part One and
Part Two, with clearly developed introduction and conclusion paragraphs for each stage.
3- Use MLA guidelines when composing your paper. Use 12-point font, Times New
Roman, one inch margins and indent the first line of each new paragraph. Double-space
your paper. Italicize all artwork titles. Writing in first person is acceptable.
4- This assignment is submitted to Turnitin, an automated plagiarism detection service. Do
NOT include your name or student ID within the paper. Replace your name with
“Student.” Do not include a title page.
5- Submit in a Word document (.doc, .docx) or convert to PDF. Any other formats are NOT
accepted and will result in a zero (0) grade. Corrupt files or incorrect documents will also
result in a zero (0).
6- Proofread your paper before submission. You must use correct grammar, punctuation,
and spelling. Utilize the resources provided by the Writing Studio at USF. They offer
online resources in addition to in-person appointments. Another good online resource is
the Purdue Online Writing Lab.
7- Include a screenshot of the artwork within your “virtual museum” as proof of attendance
(POA) at the end of your paper. Failure to attach POA will result in a reduced grade.
8- LATE POLICY: The syllabus policy on late work applies. Remember, technical issues,
problems with your computer, slow upload times, submission of incorrect files or file
types, etc. will NOT exempt you from the late policy. Please take a moment and double
check your submission.
9- WHICH VIRTUAL MUSEUM TO VISIT? Please see the list within our canvas course
for virtual museum options.
INSTRUCTIONS A work of art is the product of the dynamic interrelationships between the
various art elements and principles. As you analyze the artwork, ask yourself why the artist made
such choices. By considering the formal elements and principles of design involved, you can
make yourself look more closely at the work of art, and thus understand more fully the artist’s
intended vision, as well as noticing how the work reflects the time and place from whence it
You must address ALL the prompts below within your essay, but your response need not be
organized in the exact order given. Your paper must include proper introductory and concluding
I. Formal Analysis (this section should be the “meat” of your paper): Find any work of art in the
museum that interests you. You will engage in a thorough visual analysis of that work. There
should be no need to consult outside sources for the content of your paper. Reflect directly on the
work using the material you have learned from the course. Follow the guidelines below.
1- Identify the work fully (artist name if known, title if available, time period or date, medium,
dimensions or approximate dimensions).
2- Provide a brief description of the subject matter of the work.
3- Analyze, describe, and discuss the work in terms of three (3) formal elements of art
4-Analyze, describe, and discuss the works’ composition using three (3) principles of design.
IMPORTANT: It is expected that the analysis of the work’s formal elements and
principles of design be the most in-depth and therefore most time should be spent on this
section. You must demonstrate your understanding of the concepts learned in the course
by utilizing appropriate course vocabulary within your analysis. Please use precise
terminology associated with the elements and principles chosen. Failure to do so will
result in a reduced grade. Consult the chapters and course material from Module 2.
Spend a good amount of time looking at the work and taking notes. It is helpful to
provide the reader with an overall picture of the work you are describing. You may find it
useful to pretend you are describing the work to someone who cannot see, but must create
an impression of the work based solely on your words. Clearly and articulately analyze
and describe the formal elements and principles of design that you see in the work. There
may be many, but be selective and try to determine the most significant elements of
composition. Remember to utilize key terms from the textbook associated with the
specific elements/principles chosen.
Is the work non-objective, representational, figurative, or abstract? Note that a work of art can
fall into more than one of these categories. Please explain fully and in a way that demonstrates
you have a correct understanding of the term(s) as it relates to our course content.
II. Discussion of Medium: Examine your artwork further by discussing the medium used and
the artist’s technique and application of materials. Is the object two- or three-dimensional? What
limitations, if any, might the chosen medium create for the artist? Below are some further
questions to consider, depending on the type of medium employed. See Part Two of your
textbook (Media & Processes) for further information on art materials and media.
Painting: How did the type of paint affect the strokes the artist could make? Was it
fresco, oil, tempera, or watercolor? Was it a fast-drying paint that allowed little time to
make changes? What kind of textures and lines was the artist able to create with this
medium? Does it lend a shiny or flat look? How durable was the medium? Does the work
look the same today as when the artist painted it?
Drawing: Consider the materials utilized: metal point, chalk, charcoal, graphite, crayon,
pastel, ink, and wash. Is the artist able to make controlled strokes with this medium?
Would the tool create a thick or thin, defined or blurred line? Was the drawing intended
to be a work of art in itself, or is it a study for another work, a peek into the artist’s
Printmaking: What is the process the artist undertook to create this work? Did he or she
need to carve or etch? Did the medium require a steady hand? Strength or patience?
Photography: What is the process the artist undertook to create this work? Is it an
example of early photography or more recent processes? Is it created from digital, film or
other processes? Documentary? Staged?
Sculpture: Is the sculpture high or low relief, or can we see it in the round? What
challenges did the material present to the artist? Was the work created through a
subtractive process or an additive one? What tools did the artist use to create the form? Is
your work created from constructing or assembling things together?
Craft: Is it made of fiber, textile, ceramics, metalwork, glass, etc? Is the art object
considered craft or fine art? Why? Can works of fine art be utilitarian, in your opinion?
Alternative media and processes: Is your work a video, sound art, interactive, a work of
conceptual art or even a performance piece? How does it differ from traditional works of
art? Did you encounter the actual work itself, or is it documentation of an event or a timebased piece? Do you find it easier or more difficult to apply a formal analysis to this type
of work? Explain.
III. Interpretation: This is the part of the paper where you go beyond description and offer a
conclusion and your own informed opinion about the work.
• Consider how the formal aspects of the work and the subject matter work together to
produce significant meaning.
• How did the artist’s choice of materials and medium affect its message and reception?
• What questions does the work raise or leave you with, if any? Is it possible to make a
reasoned statement about the artist’s aim?
• Describe your personal reaction to the work. Did a visual analysis change your first
reaction and interpretation of the work?
In addition to the above, include the following somewhere within your essay:
Which museum did you attend?
What is the basic organization of the museum’s collections? Discuss your personal
overall impression of the experience itself, the museum, the exhibitions and their
Do not forget to include your “Proof of Attendance” (screenshot of the work within the
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Leonardo da Vinci
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