ART Compare and Contrast Essay

THE BASICS: You will write an essay (at least 750 words, or roughly 3 pages double-spaced) that compares and contrasts two artworks. How are they similar? How are they different? In the process, we will uncover the connections between two different people in two different times and places.
Choose one of the possible pairs listed below:
OPTION 1:
Great Stupa at Sanchi, founded 3rd century BCE (India)
The Dome of the Rock, originally begun 691 CE (Islamic)
OPTION 2:
Buddha Seated on a Lion Throne, stone, late 1st-early 2nd century CE, from Mathura (India)
Meditating Bodhisattva Maitreya, gilded bronze, early 7th century (Korea)
OPTION 3:
Travelers Amid Mountains and Streams, by Fan Kuan, hanging scroll with ink on silk, c. 990-1030 CE (China)
Page from the Qur’an, illuminated manuscript, c. 9th century CE (Islamic)
You will discuss the similarities and differences between two examples, based on:
Visual analysis (what do they look like)
What do you see?  What do the two examples share in common, and where do they differ? What is the subject matter of each artwork? Is it a representation of something or is it nonrepresentational?  If it is representational, is it an abstraction of something? Are certain elements exaggerated? Is one example much larger or smaller in scale than the other? Is one colorful whereas the other one lacks color?
You will describe in detail how the artworks are similar or different. Be sure to take into account whether the work of art you selected is a two-dimensional or three-dimensional work, whether it is a work of art or architecture, functional or decorative, etc.
Context (external factors that may have influenced the object’s appearance or function)
How are these two artworks similar or different based on the particular religious, historical, social, political, or other events going on at the time of its creation? Do they both tell us about the development of a particular religion in a certain part of the world? Does one represent a time of peace, whereas the other example represents a time when that region was at war? How do we see that context represented in the two artworks?
FORMATTING: The essay should be typed in Times New Roman or Arial, 12pt font, double-spaced, with 1” margins. No extra spaces between paragraphs.
This is not intended to be a research paper, but if you do include any outside research, you must cite your sources within the text and include a Works Cited page. Plagiarized writing will receive a ‘0.’

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