Describe the differences in iconography between each sculpture.

Published by Jeannie R. Ferrell

Nov 17, 2022


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Course learning objective
Gain analytic skills that employ a suitable vocabulary of historical terminology, cultural context, and stylistic analysis in evaluating the relationship between visual culture and history.
Assignment overview
You will create a comparative analysis essay examining how political power was expressed through art in the ancient world.
The artwork you will compare:
One of the most difficult tasks for anyone beginning to study in a specific field is learning the discipline-specific terminology. Think about it: lawyers write legal briefs in very particular ways, so do medical students when writing case studies.
In art history, part of what you study is the discipline itself, its methodologies, its fields of study, and its terminology. You may have already noticed that terms like “style” or “form” are used in art history in a different way than in popular culture or fashion.
So for your writing assignment, I am going to give you very specific guidelines to help guide you in writing your essay. The most important thing to consider is: have you prepared? Have you done the assigned readings and paid close attention to the terminology learned in the reading quizzes? Have you participated fully in the discussion sections and really used that as an opportunity to learn? If so, good! You have prepared yourself for this next stage.
If you have not, you have to do some catch up and review, but you will have another opportunity at the end of the class to do this again. So this stage will be a good assessment of where you are in the class in terms of your learning.
How to complete this successfully
Your assignment is to write a brief paper (700-1000 words) making a comparison between these two artworks; one is a Roman sculpture and the other is Mesopotamian. You must make specific visual references to the examples shown below and address the style and iconography of power. Both works are different in style but similar in iconography.
Your comparison should be broken down as follows:
Paragraph 1: Begin with a topic sentence Links to an external site.about style in art history. Describe the stylistic differences and similarities between these two sculptures, making specific reference to the actual artworks. You do not need to research the specific works of art, but you should appropriate art historical terminology. (refer back to the readings if necessary.)
Paragraph 2: Begin with a topic sentence about iconography in art history. Describe the differences in iconography between each sculpture. How is each work characteristic of its respective culture (its cultural, religious, or political beliefs)? Be sure to state how.
Paragraph 3: Begin with a topic sentence that summarizes your main points, addressing specifically the iconography of power and style in art history.
If you follow these prompts exactly as outlined, and write in a clear, concise way with appropriate terminology, and without unnecessary or irrelevant information, you will have written an excellent essay!
Other notes
For an example of a good essay following this prompt but on a different topic: Model Writing Art Essay Download Model Writing Art Essay.
Make sure to write your essay on a word document and then save it to your desktop. That way you will have a copy in case of any issues.
The attached rubric provides an explanation for full or partial credit. If a criterion listed is not addressed, you will receive a zero for that section.


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