Segments in this Video

Comparing Works of Art (00:33)


Comparing one work of art to another helps students better understand the artwork. Consider subject, style, iconography, and composition.

Thoughts on Comparing Artworks (00:42)

Titus O'Brien states that any creative product is embedded in an expansive history whether the artist is aware of it or not. An artist defines what should be compared and contrasted.

Comparing Styles: The Renaissance and Impressionism (00:55)

Stephen Eisenman states that one-point perspective was common during the Renaissance; it began breaking down with impressionism.

Comparing Artists from the Same Period: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Édouard Manet (00:31)

Eisenman states that Ingres mostly followed the official rules while Manet produced work in direct opposition.

Comparing Artists from Different Periods: Titus O'Brien and Rembrandt (01:55)

Rembrandt influenced O'Brien's work "Flying Dutchman." Comparison and contrast between the works is instructive. See a list of resources for studying art.

Defining and Assessing the Value of Art (00:58)

Historians use formal analysis, style, social history, artistic biography, and patronage to analyze the artwork's meaning, quality, and significance and determine historical impact. Peter Fagundo compares Vincent van Gogh to Thomas Kinkade.

Assessing Meaning (00:57)

Formal analysis examines the visual forms of a composition. Understand the forms in context with other works of art.

Assessing Historic Value (00:38)

Eisenman considers how a piece of art impacted audiences, how it changed history, how it challenged ideas, and how it functioned politically and ideologically.

Assessing Market Value (00:47)

Art historians do not determine the monetary value of a work of art. The test of the marketplace determines the artwork's financial value.

Art Critic vs. Art Historian (01:20)

Critics discuss or evaluate visual art; historians study the work in historical and stylistic context. See a list of resources for studying art.

Art History Perspective (00:35)

Historians consider imagery, iconography, and semiotics when studying a work of art.

Frames of Reference (01:24)

Art historians consider the period, content, context, and contextual analysis of a work of art. Art is the expression of a period's ruling ideas; you must understand the "larger body of thought" when assessing art.

Role of Personal Perspective and Analysis (01:10)

Eisenman states, scholars must consider what they believe are the most compelling set of questions to ask about works of art and how they see society organized. Self-awareness allows a useful and understandable interpretation of a work of art.

Sample Analysis: Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (00:52)

Eisenman assesses "Marie Antoinette," painted in 1778, from a feminist perspective.

Can an Artist be a Historian? (01:18)

Artists can be good theorists because of their work with materials. See a list of resources for studying art.

Creators and Their Work (00:52)

Craft focuses on how something is made while art is an expression of skill and imagination. Successful artists during the Renaissance had artisan workshops that helped complete a commissioned artwork—Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst employ a similar tactic.

Definition of an "Artist" (01:34)

Experts state that the definition has become more flexible and "muddled" by connotations and associations.

Craft vs. Art (00:54)

Alberto Aguilar states, "craft is the tangible ability to do or make something; art is the intangible things." Eisenman considers the use of terms, visual culture and visual studies.

Visual Studies vs. the Canon (02:32)

The notion of visual studies is an attack on the list of artwork that has remained influential for a period of time. Eisenman argues that the idea of a canon remains necessary. Tony Lewis considers the addition of artworks that were once excluded. See a list of resources for studying art.

Current Debates in Art (00:38)

Museum politics, cultural issues, appropriation, and technological advances help shape art debates.

Art in the Digital Age: Museums, Artists, and New Media (03:55)

The digital revolution and globalization challenge the institutions that exhibit art. Aguilar states that a good work of art responds to the "new way of communication." Students are accustomed to the inundation of visual information, social media is part of how they live in society, but a strong desire to work with materials rather than digital media remains. See a list of resources for studying art.

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Introduction to Art: Methodology and Interpretation

Part of the Series : Introduction to Art
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



When assessing art, compare and contrast artworks according to subject matter, style, iconography, and composition. This video explains how to identify and apply different methods art historians developed to think about artworks and analyze their meaning, quality, and structures. These include: formal analysis, style, social history, status, reception, patronage, iconography, semiotics, and imagery. Experts highlight current debates in the art field and consider the impact of digital technologies.


Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL117881

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

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