A stylistic analysis will familiarize you with some of the larger historical trends in the culture revealing development in art. For example, think about politics, social structure, religions, excepted philosophies, class, gender, and race issues etc. that would have been prevalent in the time period and particular region. How could have these conventions that governed the period shape the style you are researching? Did the artist from the period reject those principles or support them? Who were the patrons? What was their agenda? Were there artists that made significant contributions to the style? What was the artists’ background as individuals and/or as a group? What conceptual and formal characteristics make up the style?
Choose a thesis for your paper and a theme for your exhibition (they should be one in the same). Write about the overarching conceptual and compositional similarity that frame the style you are researching. Select five to seven works of art not included in the textbook and support your theme and represents that style you are researching. Discuss the composition, content, and context of each piece. Build an argument that clearly shows the significance of the work, thinking about why and how the work represents that style and your theme. Consider what aspect of the work leads the viewers to make certain observations. Reference other works to help support your claim.
Remember the pieces you choose do not have to be the most well-known works. However, just as artists communicate through their artwork regardless of intent, the choices you make will affect the experiences of the viewer and will paint a picture. Think about what your selections say about the style, culture, philosophies, etc., influencing our understanding of art history. Consider what formal or conceptual themes you want to convey. Why did you choose these pieces? Did you organize by theme, medium, or philosophy of artist?
For example, if you were to write about Egyptian art, you could choose…
• A range of artwork with various media, such as tomb structures, Ka statues, and pages form the Book of Dead to paint a broad picture about Egyptian belief system and plans for the afterlife.
• Ka statues throughout their 3000-year history to show the consistence and longevity of their aesthetics as a culture.
• Pieces from the Amarna period to show the direct relationship between aesthetics and religion, exploring persistence of certain aesthetic conventions while highlighting the forced departure from canon.
Format: The research paper/report should be 5-7 pages types 12-point font, double spaced with no more than 1 inch margins.
Images: You are required to add the visual documentation such as photographs, photocopies, or scanned images of the artwork you chose. Each image should appear on a single sheet of paper unless two images and captions will fit on a single sheet of paper with one inch margins. Images should be placed at the end of the paper, NOT within the text.
Documentation of Resources: Use any reliable sources in print or online for your research. If you use the ideas or words of another writer, anything other than generic information like the Egyptians build the pyramids, you must credit the original writer. Your images must be cited as well. The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is the most common citation used by art historians, but APA is acceptable too.