Ancient Art Term Paper 5 Pages

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ARTT200 – Survey of Art History: Prehistory to 1400

A 5 page (approximately 1500 – 2000 words, NOT including illustrations!) descriptive, comparative analysis of 2 art works of your choice, detailing the art historical references. You are required to provide information about the artist, style, media, and date, as well as the cultural and stylistic significance.

The two examples should be similar in media, style, theme or subject matter.


  • To reflect upon and analyze the synthesis of styles and influences, and make connections between commonalities in influences and themes.
  • To further explore and identify the cross-cultural exchanges evident in the examples – through the study of style, technique, iconography and ornamentation.
  • To recognize and trace the inter-connectedness of the global cultures throughout history.


  1. ~ Choose 2 (two) works of art from the time period that will be covered in this course – Prehistory to 15th century. Each of the examples should be from different cultures, or periods. Make sure you select works of art that is accessible and at the same time challenging enough to sustain your interest.
  2. ~ Why did you choose to write about this piece?
  1. ~ Develop a thesis or an argument around which to organize your research. Discuss the works of art in sufficient detail. The paper should compare and contrast the two examples, and should be based on your visual observation as well as material covered in class.
  2. ~ Consider the significance or meaning of the work of art. Remember, when discussing subject matter, that it is not the same as the meaning of the work. Include any relevant iconographic references.
  1. ~ What are the stylistic or cultural characteristics of the period – this should reflect the circumstances under which the art was created. Compare and Contrast the 2 examples:
  2. ~ Explore the similarities and differences of the two works.
  1. ~ Your introductory paragraph should state the main point of the comparison.



  1. * What is the title?
  2. * Who made it?


  1. * What are the formal elements of design (line, color, composition etc.)
  2. * What is the medium or material?
  3. * Is the subject depicted naturalistically, idealized, abstract or a combination?
  4. * What are the origins of the style; does it show influences of earlier ones or is it a reaction to those?


  1. * What is the theme – is it sacred or secular?
  2. * What is the purpose of this object or structure?
  3. * What message does it communicate?

Cultural Context

  1. * What is the period or culture?
  2. * What was happening historically, politically religiously, intellectually and economically at the time that these were made?
  3. * Do historical events or overall aesthetic tastes relate to the image/narrative depicted?
  1. Consult at least 2 other written sources beside your text book to learn more about the work. Please use JSTOR. You may use the Internet in addition to this.
  1. Make sure to acknowledge your sources by using footnotes. Internet sources should be cited as well. Include a complete bibliography.
  1. Remember to include an illustration of the examples
  1. Finally, make sure that there is an introduction; that there are clear connections between paragraphs and that your conclusion is satisfactory.

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