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ARH 105: Arts of East Asia

Visual (Formal) Analysis

A visual or formal analysis examines an artwork’s formal elements that we can see such as scale, composition, space, form, line, color, light, tone, texture, and pattern. The purpose of a visual analysis is to recognize and understand the choices made by the artist in creating the artwork.

Art Historical Analysis

Art historical analysis is an investigation art historians do to understand and give meaning to works of art. They do this by describing formal properties, examining content or subject matter and placing works of art in their historical context.