Formal Analysis Terms

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Terms and Ideas you will need to know for your ARTH 200 Art History Class.

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What is represented
"The dog was the subject of the painting"

Visual Form (Style)

What it looks like
"The dog was depicted in a profile view showing all four of its legs"


The works purpose, and how it is experienced by the viewer
"The artist painted the dog to teach his grandchildren what a dog looked like"

Historical Context

Expression of subject and style to inform about the historical period
"The dog was drawn with an emphasis on depicting anatomy; indicating a neolithic origin"


The combination of subject, style, function, and historical context to define the meaning of a work, the reason it was created
"The painting of the dog served as a narrative to tell a story of neolithic life"