Art History Formal Analysis Paper for Dancer and Gazelles

The work you are going to write about is called “Dancer and Gazelles” by Paul Manship. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate skill in the visual analysis of sculpture.
  • Demonstrate ability to express ideas through writing.
  • Demonstrate the ability to revise a paper.

Things to consider when writing about sculpture:

  • For what purpose was this object made? (See the section on sculpture in Barnet)
  • If the work is figurative, what does the pose imply?
  • If the work is a portrait, then consider whether it represents an individual or social type. See the questions under painting.
  • Formal elements: volume, silhouette, medium, and techniques, tactile qualities, etc.
  • Consider the technique, modeling vs. carving, or construction.
  • What is the effect of color?
  • What is the scale?
  • Is there a pedestal or base? How is the work displayed and how does the display affect your experience of the work? Where is the best place to stand when viewing it?


Format—following the instructions for all parts of the assignment (15%)
Content—had a strong and original thesis statement with visual evidence to support it (35%) Clarity, Style, and Writing—well-organized, essay with transitions between paragraphs, an introduction with the thesis, a conclusion, correct grammar and punctuation. (30%)
Revision (20%) The second draft should look substantially different from the first one to receive full credit here.

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