Select two works from this list. The first work will be from one of the following categories: baroque, rococo, neoclassicism, or romanticism. The second will be modern (e.g., realism, impressionism, postimpressionism), postmodern, or contemporary (1970–present). You will identify a common/shared theme (e.g., social or cultural issue) in both works. For example, in Judith Leyster’s Self Portrait (Dutch baroque, 1630) and Frida Kahlo’s The Two Fridas (surrealism, 1939), a shared theme is the presentation of self.
After identifying the common theme in both works, you will develop an essay that explores how each work is a product of its particular historical moment. Finally, you will address the relevance of this shared theme in contemporary culture by choosing a third work that exemplifies this theme. This third work could be a specific contemporary work belonging to any genre of the arts or even a contemporary social construct such as reality television or social media. For example, you could consider the presentation of self as a relevant and recurring theme on Facebook today.
Specifically, the following critical elementsmust be addressed:
This section of the comparative analysis will introduce readers to the works you have selected to analyze.
A. For each work, identify the artist, the title (in italics), the date, the medium, the dimensions, the cultural origin or period of creation, and the current collection.
B. What is your main argument/thesis statement about the relationship between your selected works and their shared theme?
II. Visual and Historical Analysis
This section will provide a visual and historical analysis in which you will analyze the physical characteristics in each work as well as the connections of each work to its historical and cultural context.
A. What formal characteristics are similar between the two works? What characteristics are different? Be sure to reference specific aspects of each work.
B. How did each respective culture’s traditions and ideologies influence the two works you have selected? Be sure to use examples to support your response.
C. How does each work represent its particular social, historical, and cultural climate? Be sure to use examples to support your response.
III. Comparative Analysis
In this section, you will compare and contrast your two selected works.
A. Explain how each of your two selected works reflects the social or cultural identity of its day. Support your response with examples.
B. What influence have your two selected works had in the shaping of social or cultural identities?
C. What influence have your two selected works had on a modern or contemporary expression of the identified shared theme? Support your response with examples.
In this section, you will introduce a third creative work and explain how that work parallels the relationship between the two works previously selected.
A. How do the shared historical themes and settings tie your two previously selected works to your work from popular culture?
B. Discuss how the theme is still relevant today, utilizing the popular culture work you selected to support your response.
In this section, you will discuss the relevance and value of studying worksof artand cultural artifactswith regard to their influence, relevance, and impact on modern and contemporary culture and practice.
A. What is the value of challenging perceived notions of historical, cultural, and social identity? How do the humanities, as a discipline, help us understand this? Be sure to justify your response.
B. How does our understanding of social and cultural practices of the past impact how we conduct ourselves socially and professionally in the present? How do the humanities, as a discipline, help us understand this? Be sure to justify your response.
C. What is the responsibility of the artist to society, especially in terms of shaping our understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live? How do the humanities, as a discipline, help us understand this? Be sure to justify your response.