History essay paper

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Below you will find the Exam instructions and four essay questions of Exam 1.  You need to respond to ALL four essay questions and to submit your essays on BB by the deadline in your schedule in order to complete Exam 1.  There is no requirement for the length of each essay.  You need to answer ALL questions and ALL parts of the essay question as thoroughly as you can without rambling and bringing up unnecessary or irrelevant information.  Your essays need to demonstrate knowledge of the course material as it is presented on MAL and in the textbook and/or the PPs.  Please do not do research and do not use external sources of information—that may lead to pts being taken off.  You need to answer the essay questions by providing relevant historical and visual evidence taken from our course material.  You also need to address ALL examples cited below each essay question and to discuss those examples in detail, demonstrating knowledge of the aspects explained in the textbook and/or the powerpoints.  Finally, your answers need to incorporate a specified number of terms chosen from your list of required terms for each module.  Each essay question provides a list of terms that you have to explain and use properly in your essays.  Thus, your essays need to demonstrate that you understand those terms, that you know what those terms mean, and that you are able to apply them appropriately in their relevant context.   Please highlight or type in bold those terms each time you use them.  When you present the information in the textbook, PPs, or other sources, make sure to present it in your own words and avoid copying and pasting somebody else’s text, because that is an example of plagiarism. 

Please use proper language and grammar and try to be as clear as possible in your discussion. When you are referring to a particular artwork or image, please cite them correctly so that I know what work of art or architecture you are using.  Make sure to base your thoughts and observations on examples and works discussed in this course.  Avoid generalizing statements and abstract conclusions that are not grounded in the visual or historical material that we study. 

While a particular essay structure is not required, it is recommended and helpful to structure your text as an academic essay.  That means to provide (1) a short introduction that summarizes briefly your main answer to the questions in the beginning, (2) body of the essay that elaborates on your answers by providing arguments and relevant visual/historical evidence, and (3) conclusion that synthesizes succinctly your arguments and findings explained in the body of the essay.  Please copy and paste each essay question in your essay document and provide your essay below the question that it answers.  Make sure you discuss/use all terms specified in the essay question and mark those terms in bold in your text.

After you finish typing your essays, please proofread them and, if they look good, upload them on BB, using the yellow link provided in your Mod 1-4 Exam 1 review folder.  Use your campus resources if you need help proofreading and editing.  You can only upload Word docs or PDFs on BB.  Please do not upload “pages” or other types of documents because BB would not be able to read them well and that may affect your grade.  You will have a couple of upload attempts in case you have difficulties.  Please upload all of your essays as one document.  I will look at your last uploaded document.


  1. In the fourteenth century, altarpieces by Cimabue and Giotto made considerable advances towards a new naturalism, but none of them made a complete break with the past.How is the work of both artists characteristic of the 14th century as a transitional period in the history of art—a period of transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Compareandcontrast the two versionsofVirginandChildEnthroned,noting thedifferencesbetweenthesetwogenerationsofartists. Discuss how each artist makes his depiction of the Virgin and Child seem more lifelike to reflect the fact that fourteenthcentury artistsbecamemore interestedin creating naturalisticimagesofthe humanfigure.Discuss what medieval/Gothicizing qualities remain in each painting.  How did Giotto’s frescos and paintings move away from Gothic mysticism and splendor towards a new naturalism characteristic of the Renaissance period?HowdoestheworkofGiottodi Bondonein theScrovegni(Arena)Chapelreflectthisdevelopment towards increased naturalism and realism?

In your essay, please explain, mark in bold, and use appropriately in context ALL of the followingterms:Renaissance/Scrovegni/Grisaille/Maniera greca/Tempera/fresco secco/buon fresco/Modeling


  1. Cimabue, Madonna and Child Enthroned with Angels and Prophets, 12’ x 7’, tempera on wood, 1280-1290
  2. Giotto di Bondone, Madonna Enthroned, 10’ x 6’, tempera on wood, 1310, Florence
  3. Giotto di Bondone, Arena Chapel, Padua, Italy, ca. 1305. Fresco, Lamentation


  1. Northern Renaissance artists combined elements of medieval art and Renaissance sensibility. 15th-century Flemish paintings, in particular, united complicated symbolism with carefully observed studies of the natural world. What are the characteristics of the 15th century Northern Renaissance style and how do these paintings exemplify those characteristics?  How do these artists use everyday objects as symbols to represent religious ideas?  What is hidden symbolism and how do the paintings below use that feature?  How do they demonstrate their interest in careful observation of the world and their desire to represent three-dimensionality in paintings?  What techniques do they use to represent the illusion of three-dimensional bodies and spaces?  Who are the patrons of these works and how do the paintings convey the patron’s presence, piety, or importance?

In your essay, please explain, mark in bold, and use appropriately in context ALL of the followingterms:Northern European Renaissance/International Gothic style/Annunciation/Atmospheric perspective/intuitive perspective/Oil paint/glazes/Polyptych


  1. Van Eyck, Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride, oil on wood, 1434
  2. Van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, oil on wood,1432, 11’6” x 7’6”
  3. Rogier van der Weyden, Deposition, 1435, oil on wood, 7’ x 8’ (patrons)
  4. Robert Campin, Merode Altarpiece, ca. 1425—1428, 7’3” x 8’7”, oil on wood


  1. 15th century Italian artists invented a grid system using a vanishing point and orthogonals to create a natural sense of spatial recession. What is the name of that system, why did artists use it, and how do Perugino’s fresco and Masaccio’s work employ that system? How does it enhance the naturalistic and realistic representation of space in their frescos?  Sandro Botticelli’s Primavera and Birth of Venus do not display the same interest in naturalism as other artists of this period. How does Botticelli create an image that appears more mythological and allegorical rather than illusionistic?  Even though his art is lacking Masaccio’s naturalistic quality, what about his painting classifies Botticelli as a Renaissance artist?  How do his works express the ideas of Neoplatonism and the view of his patrons?

In your essay, please explain, mark in bold, and use appropriately in context ALL of the followingterms:the Medici/Flemish influence in Italy/Linear perspective/Vanishing point/Orthogonals/Leon Battista Alberti/Allegory/Neoplatonic philosophy


  1. Perugino, Christ Delivering the Keys of the Kingdom to Saint Peter, Sistine Chapel, Vatican, Rome, Italy, 1481–1483. Fresco, 11’ 5 1/2” x 18’ 8 1/2”.
  2. Masaccio, Tribute Money, Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy, ca. 1427. Fresco, 8’ 1” x 19’ 7”
  3. Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1484, tempera on canvas, 5’9” x 9’2”
  4. Sandro Botticelli, Primavera, 1482, tempera on wood, 6’8” x 10’4”


  1. Describe how the artworks listed below express the characteristics of the High Renaissance style and the Mannerist style. Consider the subject, composition, and style of the works.  How are the first three paintings and sculptures representative of Renaissance thinking?  Who commissioned them and how do they reflect the taste and ideas of their patrons?  For instance, why would the subject of Raphael’s Philosophy have been of interest to a Renaissance pope? Mannerism developed during the same time period as the High Renaissance. How was it a reaction to the ideals of the High Renaissance? In what ways did the taste of Mannerist patrons differ from patrons who preferred Renaissance works and how does Bronzino’s painting encapsulates the Mannerist style?

In your essay, please explain, mark in bold, and use appropriately in context ALL of the followingterms:High Renaissance/sfumato/Vitruvius/pyramidal composition/Cartoon/Julius II/paragone/Mannerism

  1. Leonardo, Virgin of the Rocks, 1485, oil on wood, 6’3” x 3’7”
  2. Michelangelo, David, 1501-1504, 13’5” high
  3. Raphael, Philosophy (School of Athens), 1509-1511, fresco, 19’ x 27’
  4. Bronzino, Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time (The Exposure of Luxury), ca. 1546. Oil on wood

Last Updated on March 16, 2018 by EssayPro