What are the main differences between a research paper on art and the other history research papers? Perhaps, the most significant difference causes the hugest challenge: in history research papers on art, your task is to be able to provide a solid argument about what you see. In other words art history paper requires you to translate the visual aspects into verbal ones. In order to cope with art history paper, you should first be well-acquainted with the language of this field, which means you, as the author of the paper, have to familiarize yourself with the concepts and the terms needed to provide description for the work of art.

Before you proceed to work, make notes of 4 categories of art history paper. Avail of them for better understanding of all tutor’s requirements.

  • Formal analysis requires you to consider the work of art formal parts, and, what is more, create some fresh interesting way of understanding this work from a discussion of the parts.
  • Biographical essays are used to study the way an artist’s life is relevant to his art.
  • Sociological essay is used in order to take a look at some era and see that that time period influences a particular work of art.  
  • Iconography requires you to identify images by means of studying the symbols that are placed on a piece of art.

Let’s imagine like your first task was to cope with a huge number of art history paper topics. Once you choose the work of art that really moves you, start writing a formal analysis of it in questions.

  • Make certain to choose the work of art carefully. This means you should find a sculpture or a painting that attracts you both in an emotional and intellectual way.
  • Provide your response to the piece of art. What kind of emotions does it make you feel? What kind of ideas appear in your head? Maybe there’s something provocative about this work? Make sure to take notes.
  • Consider how the work of art is displayed. Is it displayed in a separate open space? Can other pieces of art complement it? Does this work of art required high-contrast, bright light? Are people allowed to see it from up-close, or they should view the piece of art from a distance?
  • Think about the context of the work of art. Who is the author of it? Where and when it was painted? What events of historical or cultural nature have influenced it? If you know not much about the work, create a list of all questions to conduct the library research on the basis of it.
  • Structure your research paper. Do that in chronological way or in a particular progression of an artist, in relational way if you provide discussion for a work in a relation to the other work or a movement etc.