Art History The Impressionists (M4)
Case Assignment – The Impressionists
Image of Monet’s Gare St. Lazare, 1877: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/La_Gare_Saint-Lazare.jpg
Image of Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte: http://uploads0.wikipaintings.org/images/georges-seurat/study-for-a-sunday-on-la-grande-jatte-1885.jpg
With the wake of the industrial revolution, the rise of urban cities, and the advent of technologies such as photography and railway transportation, how people saw and experienced the world fundamentally changed. Physical realities were no longer taken as a given. Rather, they can be manipulated and broken apart to show movement and light. These transitory elements become the subject of artworks in their own right and reflect the sense of the strangeness and instability indicative of modernity. In this case study, you will compare Impressionist Claude Monet’s Gare St. Lazare with Post-Impressionist Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on the Grande Jatte. Both represent modern life in Paris and reflect the massive changes brought on by modern technology and the industrial revolution. You will need to pay close attention to formal qualities—brushwork, light, shadow and color—in order to relate these elements to the experience of modern life. Use the required course materials to help you discuss, briefly, (1) the history of Impressionism and these two artists in particular, (2) the different ways these artists chose to convey the modern experience (in content and in form), and (3) how paint, brushwork, light, and color (formal qualities) become, in part, the subject of the paintings. (*Paint is no longer just used to depict reality; paint (line, space, brushwork, color, light) becomes a subject on its own.)
It is important to note that this assignment is your fourth encounter in thinking and writing about Art History and Art Criticism, so it is expected that you have had some practice and are ready for this assignment. The required course materials under “How To Write About Art: Art Criticism and Formal Analysis” will continue to be an essential reference point in order to master these skills.
Expectations for All Assignments
• An explanation of the values—influences, themes, techniques, subjects—characteristic of the period or style under study.
• Some information about how the social, political, or religious history of the period influenced its art and artists.
• Biographical information about the artist whose work is assigned or (in SLP assignments) chosen for reflection.
Here are five keys to writing a great case assignment! For each case paper in this course, please:
1. Make sure you fully address the case assignment prompt- don’t just describe the painting and don’t forget to ‘really look’ at the painting. Be sure to respond to the expectations stated under “Learning Objectives” in the Syllabus.
2. Apply ideas from the background readings to your analysis and discussion of the case assignment prompt.
3. Include a separate cover page that includes your name, the course name, the module, and assignment name.
4. Set your format to 1″ margins on all four sides, 12-point font, double spaced. The Case Study essays should be 3-4 pages, double spaced, and the SLP assignments should be 2-3 pages.
5. Include a separate cover AND reference page at the end that includes every website and article on which you base your information and analysis. In the reference list, please note that a URL with no additional information is not a complete reference. Over time, link root will make any URL useless. Each reference should contain all the information a reader would need to find the source.
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