art 101 essay

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Virtual Museum Visit Paper Assignment: Imagine that a burglar has broken in to your home and has taken nothing but your prized work of art. You go to the police station and report the crime to the authorities. The detective asks you to first describe the object and then to relay its meaning and significance. Your only chance of recovering the missing object is through your thorough description and interpretation; without it the detective will never be able to identify the missing object! Your assignment: Go to the Getty Villa Website and select one artwork currently on view at as your missing artwork. Spend some time looking at “your” artwork, and then write a 3 to 4 page paper adhering to the instructions and formatting guidelines found below. I have selected to write about the Mummy Portrait of Isidora Romano-Egyptian, c. CE 100 (Encaustic and gilding on wood; pigment and gilding on linen).

Instructions: Your paper must open with an introduction (containing a thesis statement that attests to the significance of the artwork), followed by body paragraphs, and a conclusion. You should divide the body paragraphs of the paper into the following two sections:

Section 1: Describe the physical attributes of your object as if you are describing it to the detective, who has never seen it. Pay close attention to those physical qualities that make up the object. Important issues here involve medium, line, shape, color, texture, and composition. In this section, you should provide a solid, detailed description of the object you choose. Be careful to distinguish between physical description and interpretation. In other words, show through your prose, what your object looks like, not what you think it means.

Section 2: Explain to the detective what this works means and why this work of art was significant in its original context. What messages did it convey? How? How was it used? What type(s) of person(s) would have owned it? Where would it have been placed, etc.? In this section you do explore what you think it means. If you cite sources (textbook, gallery labels or audio, etc.) to support your thesis, you must follow a proper citation method (MLA or The Chicago Manual of Style).

Formatting Guidelines: The paper should be at least 3 (full) pages, no more than 4 (full) pages, typed in Times New Roman 12 point font, double spaced, with one inch margins and page numbers. To the paper attach a bibliography (if necessary).

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