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ARTH 396 - Art and Architectural Treasures of the Vatican: Home


Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Interior view of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, from Vedute di Roma (Roman Views), c.1748 via

This guide provides recommended research tools and skills for your ARTH 396 research assignment.

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Brainstorm Your Topic

The attached brainstorming worksheet may give you some ideas.

Analyze a Work Of Art

When analyzing a work of art, it's helpful to develop and apply a list of relevant questions. Consider:

  • Subject matter - What is being depicted? (May require researching a related place, figure or event - e.g. from religion or mythology)
  • Material and form - What is the size, shape, line, texture, color, etc.? How do these affect the way you "see" the subject?
  • Social and historical contexts - When, where, and why was the work made?
  • What were the artist's intentions (if known)?

Barnet's A Short Guide to Writing About Art provides many useful examples of analytical questions and is a required/recommended text for most Art History courses.

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