Formal analysis and historical context of artwork

Definition[ edit ] Art history as we know it in the 21st century began in the 19th century but has precedents that date to the ancient world. Like the analysis of historical trends in politics, literature, and the sciences, the discipline benefits from the clarity and portability of the written word, but art historians also rely on formal analysissemioticspsychoanalysis and iconography.

Formal analysis and historical context of artwork

Formalism art In art historyformalism is the study of art by analyzing and comparing form and style —the way objects are made and their purely visual aspects. In painting, formalism emphasizes compositional elements such as color, line, shape, texture, and other perceptual aspects rather than iconography or the historical and social context.

At its extreme, formalism in art history posits that everything necessary to comprehending a work of art is contained within the work of art. The context for the work, including the reason for its creation, the historical background, and the life of the artist, that is, its conceptual aspect is considered to be of secondary importance.

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Anti-formalism in art would assert the opposite ascription of respectively primary and secondary importance. Background The philosopher Nick Zangwill of Glasgow University has defined formalism in art as referring to those properties "that are determined solely by sensory or physical properties—so long as the physical properties in question are not relations to other things and other times.

In the latter case it is either play of figures or the mere play of sensations. The charm Reiz of colors In the parts of the Critique of Judgment in which form is emphasized as the essential aspect of beauty, Kant is consistently a pure formalist. This means they describe things very carefully.

These descriptions, which may include subjective vocabulary, are always accompanied by illustrations, so that there can be no doubt about what exists objectively". As such, it is a basic tool for art historians and artists to understand the purely visual aspects of a work of art.

Formal analysis and historical context of artwork

This is not to say that such cultural or motivational interpretations can be separated from the artwork, but that the visual elements provide an essential starting point for understanding a work of art.

Elements of a formal analysis include descriptions of colorspacelinevolumemasscompositionand other perceptual aspects, and putting these together to analyse artistic style. First introduced by Roger de Piles —in his book the Principles of Painting, the technique of formal analysis was more fully developed by 19th-century art historians.

Leading proponents of a formalist approach to art history were, from the Vienna School of Art HistoryMoritz Thausingwho in became the second Ordinarius full professor of art history at Vienna, who advocated an autonomous art history and promoted the separation of art history from aesthetics.

Thausing's students Franz Wickhoff Professor and Alois Riegl Professor furthered his approach, insofar as they developed the methods of comparative stylistic analysis and attempted to avoid all judgements of personal taste.

Thus both contributed to the revaluation of the art of late antiquitywhich before then had been despised as a period of decline.

Formalism (art) - Wikipedia

Riegl in particular, as an avowed disciple of positivismfocused on the purely formal qualities of the work of art, and rejected all arguments about content as metaphysical speculation. Throughout the rest of the early part of the 20th Century, European structuralists continued to argue that 'real' art was expressive only of a thing's ontologicalmetaphysical or essential nature.

But European art critics soon began using the word 'structure' to indicate a new concept of art. By the s and s, structuralists reasoned that the mental processes and social preconceptions an individual brings to art are more important than the essential, or 'ideal', nature of the thing.

Knowledge is created only through socialization and thought, they said, and a thing can only be known as it is filtered through these mental processes. First, Zangwill identifies extreme formalists who think "that all works of art are purely formal works—where a work is purely formal if all its aesthetic properties are formal aesthetic properties," then he defines anti-formalist thinkers as those who "think that no works of art have formal aesthetic properties.Contextualism—looking at the cultural context of an artwork—can deepen and/or improve our understanding of an artwork, but it may or may not change our first impressions; and it doesn’t really have an effect on formal analysis.

Essay about Formal Analysis and Historical Context of Artwork - Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece, Venus and Adonis, is not only a significant artwork of the baroque-period in Europe during the seventeenth century, but it also tells the mythological story that begins with love, and ends in tragedy.

The Historical Context of The Bhagavad Gita and Its Relation to Indian Religious Doctrines Words | 11 Pages. The Historical Context of The Bhagavad Gita and Its Relation to Indian Religious Doctrines The Bhagavad Gita is perhaps the most famous, and definitely the most widely-read, ethical text of  ·  a formal analysis – the result of looking closely – is an analysis of the form that the artist produces; that is, an analysis of the work of art, which is made up of such things as line, //04/ The Foundations Program within the Art and Art History Department at Colorado State University is an exciting and intensive prelude to work in the upper- level studio and art history › Home › Academics › Undergraduate.

· Art Analysis of Jacques-Louis David's Neoclassical Painting, Oath of Horatii () Updated on December 9, Simran Singh. will die soon. Even though the artwork portrays pain and sorrow, it also promotes values such as valour, sacrifice, morality, duty and selfless

IB Visual Arts: Formal Elements of Art