This week, let’s tackle and deconstruct an Art Historical essay, in preparation for your own individual research project. A good Art Historical essay makes a specific claim about a work or works of art, which it then supports with formal analysis of the works in question, iconographical explanations, and iconological context.
Please read this article (Links to an external site.) on the portrait of Madeleine, which is a more in-depth take on the painting featured in our weekly reading on the same artwork.
Then, answer the following questions.
1. What is James Smalls’ thesis in his article? (In order to answer this question, you must physically locate the sentence or sentences that you believe most succinctly contain his thesis. Then, please paraphrase his argument in your own words.)
2. Describe a few details of formal analysis that he uses to support his thesis. How do these details support his thesis?
3. Describe a few iconographic details he uses to support his thesis. How do these iconographical assertions support his thesis?
4. Describe some iconology that he refers to in order to support his thesis. What outside context does he include in the article and why?
You may answer each of the above questions separately; there is no need to put this week’s weekly response into essay format.
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