Gian Lorenzo the rape of Proserpina, Italy, marble

The Assignment: write a visual analysis essay on a work of art that we introduced in class.

For the Paper: choose one of the following artworks to research more deeply and to complete a mini-research paper and a visual analysis of one of the following works that we introduced in class. You should research the artwork online to learn more about it.

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Gian Lorenzo the rape of Proserpina, Italy, marble
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Gianlorenzo Bernini, The Rape of Proserpina (Persephone), 1625, Italy, marble


Questions to Address in your Essay


1. How does the artist use line, color, and composition to draw your eye where he or she wants it to go?


2. What is the subject of the work and how does the artist communicate the story to you?


3. What part of the story is being told (you should do extra research). Is the story real or mythological? If real, please explain the real life events that led to the creation of the work. If mythological, why is it being brought back now?


4. Was it made for a particular place, patron, or purpose?


5. Is there hidden symbolism or deeper meanings hidden in the work?


6. Is there an ethical or potential global issue raised in this artwork? Think more broadly.


7. Why is this an important image in the culture where it was made?


8. What are the implications on society for the ethical or global issues raised here?


Researching the paper:

Beware of online sources! For reference, please only use books or articles you can find on the History of the Bibliography of Art or JSTOR (under “Art” DatabasesL (under “Art” Databases: LAGCC Library Art History Research Guide YOU MUST HAVE AT LEAST 2 SOURCES FOR THIS PORTION. Please utilize the library’s access to journals and other articles, and databases to research these artworks. Museum websites are considered trustworthy as well. Be sure to write down urls, all info for your bibliography–including page numbers where your information came from–in order to build a proper citation.


Making the paper interactive and illustrated:

You will be building your paper directly into your ePortfolio HUA166 page, once you have revised your drafts with my comments.


You will be expected to design the page appropriately and add appropriate images to illustrate your points. We want to see your visual creativity. You may hyperlink to any quotes or passages that are in need of citation (as in, you took them from another source.) Your own observations and thoughts do not need citations, but all other research does. Add images and embed them in proximity to the section of the paper where you discuss them. Make sure to use the caption tool to label the artwork as “Figure 1”, “Figure 2”, etc. (in order of where they appear in the paper, and label it in the text as well. (See Sample Research paper). You will be uploading this to your ePortfolio. Be sure your page is published the date of submission.


Formatting and grammar guidelines:

In order to make sure your paper is as professional as possible with correct grammar, I highly recommend you set-up an appointment with the Writing Center. They will help you to solidify your argument, to better arrange your ideas and to hone your grammar. I will be grading for both content and grammar, so it is essential that you edit and spell check carefully! Consider reading the paper aloud: this will help you to catch any mistakes you may have missed. It is my experience that students who go to the Writing Center generally receive higher grades, as their work is that much more polished and professional.





*The total paper should be between 5-6 pages long. Think like a newspaper editor and give me only your best ideas. That being said, I am extremely sensitive to “fluff,” so don’t give me filler, either.*Beware of passive voice, split infinitives, sentence fragments, problems with subject-verb agreement, comma splices, incorrect use of capitalization, incorrect use of plurals, and the incorrect interchange of it’s/its, your/you’re, their/there/they’re, etc. Remember that sentences end with a period, or a question mark. Exclamation points, emoticons, and other “text speak” abbreviations (ur, lol, i) are not appropriate in a formal essay. “ It’s”=it is! “Its” is possessive. “You’re”=you are. “Your” is possessive (Is that your dog? It’s so cute, and so are its spots! You’re very lucky to have him.) “They’re”=they are. “Their” is possessive (No, it’s their dog. They’re the ones who are lucky.) “There” specifies place. (Does their dog live over there?)


*Limit your text size to 12-point font.


Plagiarism: Plagiarism is when you do not credit other sources and authors for information you have taken from them. I take plagiarism very seriously. If I catch you plagiarizing, you will automatically get a zero. If you take any information or ideas that are not your own, even if you paraphrase, you MUST cite the information by telling me the location: website (I’d stay away from these), your textbook, or other books or articles. You may use a footnote, an endnote, or an internal citation, but you must cite. A bibliography is insufficient on its own.

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