The second paper is a short essay that compares two paintings from the Palmer Museum of Art Custom Paper

The second paper is a short essay that compares two paintings from the Palmer Museum of Art. Please select one of the following pairs of works for your essay (see over). The substance of your paper should be original formal analysis based on careful study in front of the works themselves (i.e. not viewed in reproduction). Each pair represents a particular genre such as portraiture, landscape, still life, or scenes of modern life. I want you to think about the changes in each genre that can be understood through a comparison of the paintings: in each case, one work emphasizes illusionism to a greater extent, and one work makes more ample use of abstraction.

All of the examples are American, and we are not studying American art prior to the WWII era in this class. We cannot always map the styles of these paintings with trends in Europe at the same moment. However, I expect that you will be able to apply your growing understanding of stylistic devices evident in European Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism in your descriptive analysis of these works. In several cases, color is used quite differently in each: look for the degree to which the artist makes use of earth tones and traditional black-white value contrast, or the degree to which he uses color to represent light and shadow. Consider the extent to which the artist is concerned with traditional representation of spatial depth and of the volume of the represented objects, and the extent to which he brings objects and forms closer to the picture plane, employs more flatness, or achieves more abstraction from nature.

Your paper should have a basic argument about the changes visible in the genre between the two works. Most of your paper should be your own formal analysis and conclusions. You may allude to basic historical information about the artists considered, but this is not a research paper, and no research on the artists is required. Any sources quoted or paraphrased in your text, however, must be cited in footnotes or endnotes; any sources that were helpful to your analysis should be listed in a bibliography. Again, no research is necessary but proper citations must be made for all research.

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