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Writing About Art, 6th edition

  • Henry M. Sayre
Writing About Art

ISBN-13: 9780205645787

Includes: Paperback

6th edition

Published by Pearson (July 10th 2008) - Copyright © 2009

Free delivery
$59.99 $47.99
Free delivery
$59.99 $47.99

What's included

  • Paperback

    You'll get a bound printed text.


This straightforward guide prepares students to describe, interpret, and write about works of art in meaningful and lasting terms. Designed as a supplement to Art History survey and period texts, this efficient book features a step-by-step approach to writing–from choosing a work to write about, to essay organization, to research techniques, to footnote form, to preparing the final essay. For beginners as well as more advanced students.

Table of contents

Preface     ix


Acknowledgments   xi


INTRODUCTION: Writing as Critical Thinking   1




CHOOSING IMAGES: How to Select the Works of Art You

Plan to Write About     9

Visiting Museums and Galleries, 9

Choosing Works of Art to Write About: Some Questions of Taste, 16

Writing Comparative Essays: Some Advantages, 18

Choosing Works from “The Museum without Walls,”  21

The Computer and “The Museum without Walls,” 24

Summary, 27





and How to Describe What You See     29  

Considering the Subject Matter of the Work, 31

Describing the Formal Elements You Discover in the Work, 35

Line, 35  

Shape and Space, 36  

Light and Dark, 40

Color, 43 

Other Elements, 47

Recognizing the Principles of Design, 54

Rhythm and Repetition. 54

Balance, 55            

Proportion, 56

Scale, 57  

Unity and Variety, 58          

Considering Questions of Medium,  59

Beginning Your Essay By Describing the Work, 61

Asking Yourself about the Work of Art:  A Summary, 64

Questions to Ask Before Writing About a Work of Art, 64





to Look for Help in Understanding What You See     66

Taking the Title and Label into Account, 66

Considering Informational Labels Accompanying the Work, 70

Consulting Artists’ Statements and Exhibition Catalogues, 72

Discovering Other Helpful Material in the Library and Online, 74

Research Online, 75  

Using the Library Catalogue and Databases, 77   

Using Art Dictionaries and Other Guides, 81

Considering the Work’s Historical and Cultural Context, 82

Quoting and Documenting Your Sources, 89

Learning the Art of Quoting, 89  

Acknowledging Your Sources, 90   

Choosing Your Footnote Style, 91   

Citing Internet Sources, 96


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