( Reading Works of Art )  


Pictures and Stories


Knowing an Artist Well  


A Practical Way to Analyse, Percieve and Evaluate Images...

HOW TO READ A WORK OF ART ?

To learn "Art Critisism Abilities" to enrichen Museum Experiences...


OBJECTIVES

As a result of this learning episode, students will be able to follow a structured method of critiquing an art work to discover its substance and meaning. The structure for "reading a painting" involves four distinct steps:

A- DESCRIPTION

* What is the name of the artist who created the artwork ?
* What kind of an artwork is it ?
* What is the name of the artwork ?
* When was this artwork created ?
* Name some other major events in history that occurred at the same time this artwork was created.
* List the literal objects in the painting (trees, people, animals, mountains, rivers, etc.).
* Consider the significant art elements that are present in this artwork and describe them:

LINE TEXTURE)
SHAPE COLOR)
FORM VALUE)
SPACE PATTERN)

B- ANALYSIS

In this step consider the most significant art principles that were used in the artwork. Describe how the artist used them to organize the elements.

BALANCE CONTRAST EMPHASIS)
HARMONY VARIETY UNITY)
GRADATION MOVEMENT RHYTM)
PROPORTION DEPTH COMPOSITION

C- INTERPRETATION

Based on what you have learned so far about the artwork, what do you think the artist was trying to say? Why did the artist create this artwork? What do you think it means? What feelings do you have when looking at this artwork? Do you think there are things in the artwork that represent other things - symbols?

D- JUDGEMENT

Do you like this artwork? Do you think it is a good artwork? Do think it is an important artwork? Would display this artwork in your home? Is this artwork good enough to put in a museum?




Recommendations for the Student Art Critic:

Write a four paragraph critique about the artwork using the information that was recorded.

1st paragraph: Describe the artwork
2nd paragraph: Analyze the artwork
3rd paragraph: Interpret the artwork
4th paragraph: Make a judgment about the artwork and back it up with good information.




A format art educators can use for assessing student art critics writings:

ASSESSMENT: The students' written critiques are evaluated on how well they meet the stated objectives. The following rubric is used to determine the extent of their achievement.


KEY: Excellent(4) Very Good(3) Adequate (2) Poor (1) Not Observed (0)


Objectives                                                                                                                                            Score


Paragraph describing the literal and significant artistic elements.

Paragraph analyzing the significant principles used to organize the elements.

Paragraph interpreting the artwork in terms of its message and emotional content.

Paragraph offering a critical judgment of the artwork with supporting criteria.

Sentence structure and flow.

Spelling

Grammar


(The page above is prepared with the benefits of Will Hanson's web site.)


Art students who wish to deepen their understanding on this subject in the Analysis and Interpretation stages, must reach aditional knowledge on the artist's private life, the school of art he/she is a member of, the specialities of his/her country in that field of art, his/her physical and mental condition when he/she produced the artwork and his/her personal iconography, in short on the CONTEXT/FORM-ICONOGRAPHY/REALISING PROCESS and MOOD ATMOSPHERE of his/her works.

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