art history research topics

1. A "Yes" for Affirmative Action!

Desc: This paper discusses the pros of the affirmative action initiatives put in place in the United States in the late 1960s-both in education and in the workplace. The paper argues that, despite present attempts to eliminate them, such initiatives need to be continued until full equality is achieved.

2. A Brief Synopsis of Part One of Art Through the Ages by Helen Gardner

Desc: This paper will examine the chapters of Art Through the Ages by Helen Gardner, and seek to generalize the findings the author gives for art history. By understanding the major accomplishments of each civlization acquired here, we can see how this synopsis will show the high points of Gardner's approach to understanding ancient art. Also, examined will be the chapter by chapter analysis of what reasons these civilizations created their means of art.

3. A Colonial Man of Many Faces: Benjamin Franklin in 18th Century Portraiture.

Desc: This paper examines Benjamin Franklin in portraits such as Robert Feke 1746, Edward Fisher's 1763 Mezzotint, David Martin's portrait in 1767, Joseph Siffred Duplessis' portrait in 1778, and finally Charles Wilson Peale's portrait in 1785. The art is examined in all these paintings. 9.5 pgs. 4 f/c. 3b.

4. A Comparative study of Russian Constructivism and Dutch De Stijl.

Desc: This is a 5-page paper that compares the Russian Constructivism Movement to that of the De Stijil Movement and suggests that the latter was more futuristic and commercial in its presentation. 5 pgs. Bibliography lists 5 sources.

5. A Compare and Contrast of Bayeux Tapestry and Joshua Roll

Desc: This paper will seek to study the similarirites and contrasts of the Joshua Roll and the Bayeux Tapestry. By understanding artistic mannerisms in each work, as well as historical value of both, we can assess why they differ and comparre to each other.

6. A Comparison Analysis of The Ragpicker by Edouard Manet and Portrait of a Peasant by Vincent Van Gogh

Desc: This paper will show a comparison analysis of The Ragpicker by Edouard Manet and Portrait of a Peasant by Vincent Van Gogh. By revealing the elements of style, line, color, theme, and texture of both Manet's and Van Gogh's depiction of working class laborers, we can see why these elderly men resemble each other in their powerful symbolic stature as the working class people of the world.

7. A Comparison of Two Paintings from the Renaissance Period.

Desc: This paper shall compare the themes found in the paintings "Madonna and Child with St. John the Baptist and an Angel" by Domenico di Bartolomeo Ubaldini (Puligo) and "Madonna Enthroned" by Giotto. An emphasis on the visible transition in painting techniques from the early to the late Italian Renaissance is discussed. 4 pgs. Bibliography lists 1 source.

8. A Contextual Analysis of a Late 18th Century Armoire.

Desc: This paper examines a pine armoire (a la Bourguignonne) from late 18th Century French Canada located at the Royal Ontario Museum. 6 pgs. 9 f/c. 3b.

9. A Critical Analysis of Fra Filippo Lippi's Madonna and Child with Two Angels .

Desc: 5 pgs. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

10. A Critique of the Interaction of Social/Political Change and Artistic Styles in the Early 20th Century.

Desc: This art history paper examines artistic styles of the early 20th century European art movements and explores how these movements were in response to social and political changes that mark the era. This paper considers the development of Futurism, Surrealism, and Dadaism, and locates these artistic styles as directly responsive to particular political and social events of early 20th century European culture and society. 12 pgs. 6 sources (Annotated bibliography).

11. A Cyclical Aesthetic: Futurism, Fascism and Modern Film.

Desc: This paper will review some of the artistic and political revolutions of the past century. It will be argued that the art of the century cannot truly be understood without reference to its political structures, and vice versa, for the two informed each others structures and patterns of development. Indeed, as will be seen, the deep structure of aesthetics in this century is cyclical and may be seen to have - at century's end - determined the triumph of the fascist will in aesthetics five decades after the ideology was crushed in Europe. 7 pgs. 7 f/c. 5b.

12. A Discussion of the Relationship between Landscape Poetry and Painting in Works by Xie Ling-yun and Fan K'uan.

Desc: In Chinese art and literature the representation of landscapes is frequently encountered. Over centuries, artists and poets have devised complex grammars that govern their depiction of the natural world. This paper will explore these grammars with respect to works by Xie Ling-yun, China's premier early landscape poet and Fan K'uan, one of the greatest of all Chinese landscape painters. Two respective works of this poet and painter will be discussed in order to demonstrate two singularly different approaches to the idea of the artistic representation of landscape. 7 pgs. 16 f/c. 4b.

13. A History of Stain Glass Windows.

Desc: This paper will discuss the history of stained glass windows and will use three sources to discover what can be learned about this great art that has played such a big part in the world. By using different sources we can see how different theories on its history can somehow be brought into a blend of perspectives that will give a an overview of the way that these windows have been created and how that have changed over the years. 8 pgs. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

14. A Life in Art: The Artistic Achievement of Benvenuto Cellini.

Desc: This paper will examine the artistic achievement of this singular Florentine genius. It will be argued that his literary work deserves inclusion as an artistic piece because of its importance to any understanding of the role of the artist in the Renaissance; a life characterized by insecure funding yet enormous social status. Moreover, the insights of Cellini into his own creative process tells us volumes about the practice of Renaissance art. In this analysis, all of the above elements contribute to our understanding of the nature of his achievement. 8.5 pgs. 15 f/c. 2b.

15. A Reading of the Life in Art of J.M.W. Turner.

Desc: J.M.W. Turner may be seen as a turbulent artist for a turbulent time. This paper will discuss the life and work of Turner as metaphors for their age. It will be shown how Turner, in his art, represented the complexity and the ambivalence of his time; both looking forward with anticipation to the future, and gazing back nostalgically at a past that would soon be forgotten. 15.5 pgs. 22 f/c. 7b.

16. A Short History of the Dada and Surrealist Movements.

Desc: This paper is a short history of the Dada and Surrealist Movements within Europe from the First world to the Second World War. A history of its artists and motivations are included with the text for an illumination of their perspective. 5 pgs. Bibliography lists 10 sources.

17. A Study of the Amphoras Vase of Exekias with Ajax and Achilles.

Desc: This paper will uncover the meaning behind the Exekias' Amphora Vase with Achilles and Ajax presented on its surface painting. The objectives of contour, shape, and other various elements of the vase will be covered to reveal the structural premise of the pottery. The characters on the vase will be discussed as well to give a more comprehensive historical background to the Greek work of art. 5 pgs. Bibliography lists 5 sources.

18. A Textual and Artistic Analysis of the Daedalus and Icarus Myth.

Desc: This paper will examine the aspects of the Daedalus and Icarus myth along with a painting of the myth, to show textual and artistic differences in interpretation. By exploiting the interaction of both of these manners of art, we can learn how they relate one another.

19. A description, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of the painting: Camillus and the Schoolmaster of Falerii by Nicolas Poussin.

Desc: This paper will give a description, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of the painting: Camillus and the Schoolmaster of Falerii, by Nicolas Poussin. We will analysis the historical period of the 1630's, the period when the painting was done, and we also discuss specific details of the paintings, from who is general Furius Camillus , who is the school master, and what is happening in this gruesome scene. We will also consider the idea of neoclassicism, as well as how Nicolas Poussin bridges the gap between the baroque and the classical periods. The larger question that we will attempt to answer in this paper is: How does the story of Camillus and the Schoolmaster of Falerii reflect the views of that period, or of the painter, on good and evil, or possible between shapeless ugliness and harmonious form?

20. Abbot Suger and the Aesthetics of Stained Glass

Desc: This paper is a discussion about Abbot Sugar and the Aesthetics of stained glass. The focus of the paper is on gothic stained glass aesthetics-Abbot Sugar. The paper is presented in a historiographical format. Theological sources are examined from the Neo-Platonism era forward. Opinions and arguments from writers are presented and examined in the discussion along with the idea of large windows.

21. Abstract Painting And Sculpture in the 21st Century.

Desc: This senior level paper describes the history of abstract painting and sculpture and the changes the Internet and video has brought to abstract expression.

22. Aesthetic Renaissance and Art

Desc: This paper examines the ideas of beauty associated with neo-Platonism and Renaissance Humanism. The interpretations of these ideas by three modern authors are compared with the interpretations of Renaissance philosophers. Differing views are compared and reconciled with one another.

23. Aesthetic and the Renaissance.

Desc: This paper examines the ideas of beauty associated with neo-platonism and Renaissance Humanism. The interpretations of these ideas by three modern authors are compared with the interpretations of Renaissance philosophers. Differing views are compared and reconciled with one another.

24. Alberti's classic "On Painting."

Desc: This paper critiques a painting from the renaissance according to Alberti's classic "On Painting." MLA format.

25. Alberto Giacometti and His Sculpture.

Desc: This paper explores the life and work of Alberto Giacometti. Addressed are his accomplishments and creative obstacles in his creative life. 6 pgs. 8 f/c. 6b.

26. American Art

Desc: This is a 6-page paper that focuses on how the Beaux art styles influenced and facilitated the Romanesque revival.

27. An Analysis Goya's: Don Pedro, Duque De Osuna with the artist Ingres: 'The Comtesse D'Haussonville.

Desc: This paper will compare and contrast Goya's: Don Pedro, Duque De Osuna with the artist Ingres: 'The Comtesse D'Haussonville. The stylistic impressions, and the painting style will be examined to give a better understanding of the way that Goya painted these pictures. The commissioners for the paintings will also be discussed and will illuminate how they were funded and why. This paper will also look at how the public received the paintings and how they reacted to them. 6 pgs. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

28. An Analysis of the Italian Travels of Albrecht Durer

Desc: This paper will seek to understand how Albrecht Durer became a well-known painter by absorbing the styles of Italian artist such as Bellini when creating his own portraits. By analyzing the line, colour, and contours of Durer's humanistic anatomy, we can learn why his travels were important in developing new ideas on how he was to fuse Flemish styles with Italian ones in this time period.

29. An Artist Comparison and Analysis of the Virgin and Child by Roger Van Der Wedyn and Virgin and Child by Master of the Strauss Madonna

Desc: This paper will discuss an art analysis of the Virgin and Child by Roger Van Der Wedyn and Virgin and Child by Master of the Strauss Madonna. By seeking the use of line, shading, light, an composition for these paintings, we can see how they depict similarities in Classical Realism. By seeing the manner of painting style they use, we can surmise how they differ in two different schools of art.

30. An Artistic Analysis of the Surrealist Movement: Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo and Renee Magritte

Desc: This paper will present an artistic analysis of the Surrealist Movement pertaining to Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo and Renee Magritte. By making the Freudian psychoanalytical perspectives which forged the Surrealist Movement, we can understand how these painters agreed with and rebelled against different forms of dream analysis in relation to 'reality'.

31. An Artistic and Historical Analysis of The Adoration of the Magi and The Primavera by Sandro Botticelli

Desc: This paper will analyze The Adoration of the Magi and The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli in the early renaissance. By realizing the influence of the Medic family who patroned Botticelli, we can realize the classical aspects of Greek symbolism present in the changes that Botticelli underwent in Florentine painting circles in his early and later career.

32. An Examination of Art: Jonathan Lasker.

Desc: This paper examines Lasker's art, the author comes to the understanding that there is a fine line in what painting actually says. All of Lasker's work is art, no matter how ambiguous it is. In one sense, he is the abstract expressionist struggling for the authentic gesture and the distracted student doodling on a notepad. There appear to be unconscious scrawls but also controlled elements that are carefully integrated into a larger composition. 4 pgs. 4 f/c. 3b.

33. An Open life Frida Kahlo by Raquel Tibol translated by Elinor Randall University of Mexico Press.

Desc: This is a 7-page book review in MLA style that depicts the life of Frida Kahlo completely and with great introspection of what actually made the artist the wonder that she became. 7 pgs. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

34. Analysis of "The Three Graces" by Raphael.

Desc: This paper analyzes the iamge in Raphael's painting "The Three Graces," first describing the image itself, then considering its effect and meaning as a viaul statement.

35. Analysis of "Two Sisters" by Renoir

Desc: This three-page undergraduate paper discusses Renoir's painting, "Two Sisters on the Terrace" and evaluates the artist's masterful use of line, color, light and dark, texture, area, perspective and volume.

36. Analysis of Art in Florence During the Renaissance.

Desc: This paper will seek to understand how art in Florence, Italy was created, and by whom in the Age of the Renaissance. By understanding the artist, some of the works that make this period so special, and what Florence was aiming for in the objectives of their art. By understanding all of these elements, we can see how the artist, and the patron brought together a humanistic art to a city built for great achievements.

37. Analysis of Glenn Ligons Untitled (1992)

Desc: This paper is a description and formal analysis of Glenn Ligon's "Untitled" (1992) prints from the Wesleyan University arts museum, particularly focusing on the black-on-black prints of text by Ralph Ellison, concerning the "invisible man." The analysis describes Ligon's techniques of etching and the possible significance of his work as part of the queer African-American discourse.

38. Analysis of Gloucester and Tewkesbury Cathedrals

Desc: This paper is a description and analysis of stain glass manufacture as used in the cathedrals at Tewkesbury and Gloucester in England. The paper examines the actual business of producing stain glass schemes before describing and analyzing both famous schemes in some detail, attempting to situate both in a strict historical context that might explain some of the peculiarities of production that have been noted.

39. Analytic Comments on Milton Glaser's Speech.

Desc: Renowned graphic designer Milton Glaser's personal insights have emerged in this speech in the form of ten key points that define the very basis of practical designing techniques and shape life and work itself.

40. Ancient Art.

Desc: The goal of this essay is to illustrate the parallels between the many ancient arts in history. The clear theme among many groups seems to be the interest in human, their actions and their emotions. This paper will illustrate that point. Few undamaged originals of ancient architecture or large sculpture remain, and no many paintings have survived. An abundance of pottery vases, coins, jewelry, and gems have survived, however, and along with Etruscan tomb paintings, these give some indication of the characteristics of ancient art. These treasures are supplemented by literary sources. As we can see through history and artifacts, common themes do exist between the ancient art of Rome, Greek, and Egyptian art. Artists were interested in expressing and representing human beings. With the actions and emotions of human beings always being the centerpiece, the parallels between the arts is clear and this can be seen in vases, and pottery, architecture and literature.

41. Andre Breton: His Influence Upon Surrealist Art.

Desc: This nine-page undergraduate paper discusses the French Surrealist poet Andre Breton and analyzes how his Surrealist art philosophy influenced the art world in the twentieth century. 9 pgs, bibliography lists 7 sources.

42. Andy Warhol

Desc: This paper outlines a brief biography of famed pop artist, Andy Warhol, along with analysis of his famous work, Orange Disaster #5 which is,in essence a painting/photograph of electric chairs. This paper is designed to review Warhol's life but also to focus on the main theme(s) in Orange Disaster #5. Paper is written for graduate level course and to client's comments in order.

43. Angelica Kauffman and English Portraiture

Desc: This paper cosiders the life and work of Angelica Kauffman and what that says about the role of women in art in her time.

44. Ansel Adams.

Desc: This paper is about Ansel Adams, the famous photographer whose majestic black- and-white landscapes of the American West and whose devotion to clarity and precision made him probably the best known photographer in the United States. 3pages, bibliography lists 2 sources.

45. Art Analysis: Washington Crossing the Delaware.

Desc: This three-page undergraduate paper analyzes Emanuel Leutze's 1851 painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware" in terms of the subject chosen, and how the artist used light, color, form, mood, and symbolism to recreate the historic event on canvas. 3 pgs. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

46. Art and the Artist's Role within Technological Developments: Possessed and Terminated

Desc: Within this paper, I begin by offering broad schemata that can be applied to the relationship between art and technology generally. I then differentiate technological art from technological kitsch, in order to justify qualifying Louise K. Wilson's "Possessed" as technological art. I then critically evaluate "Possessed" before critically evaluating "the Terminator" films; both critical examinations examine the relationship between art, the artist and technology. In the end, I suggest that only subjective beliefs in individuality can overcome the pessimistic notion that technology is ruling humanity.

47. Art Interpretation.

Desc: This paper tries to clarify what art means. By examining Monet's London pictures, we must concentrate not only on the meaning of atmosphere, but also the form it takes in the painting. Yes, Monet tried to represent nature, and in doing this, he showed many different atmospheric effects. At the same time, we must allow the form of the painting to move us, rather than its supposed social and political implications. 6 pgs. 6 f/c. 3b.

48. Art Deco: Art and Influence in a Period of Great Change

Desc: This paper is an examination of the art deco period and its place in the social, historical, and cultural arenas of its time. It includes an examination of the style features that made up the art deco period, and discusses the fundatmental changes in the relationship between the elite class and the working class that accompanied the artistic evolution of this era.

49. Art From Marshall McLuhan.

Desc: This paper explores the art of C¨¦zanne in light of certain theories about that art from Marshall McLuhan.

50. Art History Paper.doc

Desc: This is a 5-page paper that presents a compassion of Eleanora di Toledo with her son Giovanni de' Medici by Agnolo Bronzino and The Bath by Mary Cassatt.

51. Art History: An Analysis of Art in the Middle Ages

Desc: This paper will analyze how the Middle Ages is clearly not a time period that should be defined as 'dark', but one that has tools that are in the process of developing into the fine arts we will eventually see in the Renaissance period. By showing how art transitioned between the dissolution of the Roman Empire, we can surely a transition, not a halt to the development of western art.

52. Art History: Paleolithic Arts and the Evolution of Culture.

Desc: This paper discusses prehistoric art in the context of two particular features: one, the most dominant forms of this art are "portable" graphics, suggesting that iconic art was mobilized throughout geographic areas, and second, that much of this artwork is intextricable from technological innovations in carving, etching, "pecking/chipping" and shaping various mediums such as bone, ivory, horns, antlers, and softer stones. 7 pgs. 0 f/c. 5b.

53. Art in the English Industrial Revolution.

Desc: This paper will discuss the English Industrial Revolution and discover its impact on Art at the turn of the century. By analyzing the many aspects of the Revolution such, inventions, artists, and different relationships within this time frame, a better understanding will be made on the effects of this era and it relationship to art. 3 pgs. Bibliography lists 4 sources.

54. Art Is A Piece of History.

Desc: This eight-page undergraduate paper investigates art as history, as being concerned with particular social and political events. Picasso's Guernica constituted a major challenge not only to the Spanish Civil War, but to all forms of aggression. 8 pgs. Bibliography lists 4 sources.

55. Art Museum Attendance: A Sociological Vantage Point.

Desc: This paper will discuss why art is not as appreciated as it should be in the attendance of art galleries and appreciation of art. By this analysis we can see hoe this can have devastating affects on a persons and our civilizations way of determinating beauty within a culture and expanding perception ranges. By the turning its back on creativity within a society, the human race can lose it edge in the bigger scope of progression. The arts are an important corner of civilization and have a great part within the balance of a culture and their ability to invent by these means. This paper will focus on the valuable assets of art and why they are not paid attention to. 5 pgs. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

56. Art Of Indonesian Shadow-Puppetry.

Desc: Describes the long tradition of shadow-puppet theatre in Indonesia, concentrating on Java and Bali. Gives detailed information about the theatrical aspects of wayang kulit, including religious and cultural background of the plays, and discusses the construction of the puppets and the theatre in the context of traditional Indonesian life.

57. Art Restoration and Anthropology - the Significance of Glazes and Varnishes.

Desc: This paper will address some of the practical and ethical issues pertaining to the restoration of Art. From here, the paper will discuss the frequency of varnish in the techniques used by artists of every culture prior to the invention of the usually more waterproof and resilient varnishing products that are now commonly used. In many cases, older varnishes permit decomposition to occur underneath as they change their consistency and color through long term exposure to the air. Without lapsing into a too scientific discussion, what actually happens will nonetheless be described with attention to several kinds of usual varnishes found in various painted surfaces. 12 pgs. 15 f/c. 12b.

58. Art and Architecture in Society: Production and Reproduction in Historical Contexts.

Desc: John Ruskin and Charles Jencks represent different historical conceptions of art and architecture. Ruskin was in the Victorian-age of England, and Jencks is in the more erratic eclecticism of the 20th century. Each critic offers particular views on the role of the artist in relation to society, however Ruskin's can be understood as one that desires to control the artist, and Jencks recognizes that art is invariably a free expression of the individual. The responsibility is thus different: Ruskin believes the artist is responsible to society, and Jencks believes that society has a responsibility to the artist, in that artists represent a challenge to public perspectives, and this challenge is always reflective of social change. 5 pgs. Bibliography lists 5 sources.

59. Art and History.

Desc: This two-page paper looks at the idea of art and how it has affected man, with reference to certain styles especially those of the Romantic and Neo-Classicist periods and painters.

60. Art and Culture: An Analysis of the Influence of Marxist Theory and Ideology

Desc: This twelve-page undergraduate paper examines the influence of Marxist theory and ideology on current methodology. The author notes that examining Marxist art history and contemplating the social history of art within ideological, political and historical contexts has led to debate that the fragmented and confused state of the social history of art is the result of the rejection by many radical cultural and art historians of Marxism. The reasons for this are ultimately to be found in the material conditions of late twentieth century culture and society, and in the political disorientation of liberals and most of the Left.

61. Art and Pop Art.

Desc: This five-page paper discusses art and pop art, and distinguishes between the two by noting the characteristics of each form. As examples of each, two works of Andy Warhol are compared and contrasted to Da Vinci's "Last Supper" and Rembrandt's "Syndic of the Clothmaker's Guild. 5 pgs. 5 f/c. 6b.

62. Art as Familial

Desc: As both art historians and scientist like Danto and Balter say, this explains is why cave art appeared at various sites around the world at the exact time. Early cave art depicted the newly formed families and assisted in redefining their roles in society. It created metaphors for the new society, subgroups within that society, such as women's birthing circles, and art offered a means of staying in contact with independent ancestral history. There is no denying that art's role in society is top define and redefine family, from its earliest appearance in cave art. Art, like all else, is familial.

63. Art, Technology, and the Postmodern World: Interacting with infinite possibilities.

Desc: This essay discusses the basic ideas discussed in Anderson's (1990) "Reality Isn't What It Used to Be," and explores the significance of postmodernism and cyber-culture in multimedia art. The perspective of limitless possibilities in production is linked with the possibility that a moral aesthetic is bound up with all cultural activity, and that as a 21st century artist, I am in a position to explore the possibilities that engage art and multimedia in evocative representations. 3-pages, bibliography lists 2 sources.

64. Artists As Individuals.

Desc: This three-page paper presents a discussion on the ideas of Fred Nietzche regarding individuals. He believes that only artists could be individuals. The author of this paper takes on a tour of his beliefs and thoughts and why he felt this way. We explore some of the philosophies of the man to determine how he came to this conclusion. There were three sources used to complete this paper. 3 pgs. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

65. Attic Red-Figure Vases

Desc: This essay discusses what we know about the everyday lives of women in ancient Athens from the depictions of scenes on red-figure vases. Though this was the height of Athenian civilization (5th century B.C.E.) we know relatively little about how the women actually lived. Red figure vase painting allows us to fill in a lot of this missing information.