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has the effect of excluding us, the viewer, from the intimate group. At the same time, though, it draws our eye around the mourners. Like the audience at a drama, we are observers, not partakers in the scene.


The answer includes a description of the work, but this is balanced by the use of the vocabulary of artistic techniques and visual elements. It also addresses the effect of these artistic techniques on the viewer.


Note in particular how the main theme of the essay – ‘a drama on a stage’ – acts as the driving force behind all the descriptive observations.


Comparative analysis


Comparisons of two works of art often appear as exam questions. Begin with these questions:


* What aspects of the two works stand out? * Are the characteristics similar in both?


xxiv APPRECIATING ART


Your answer will typically start with the similarities:


* Are the two works by the same artist? * Are the two works made of similar materials? * Are they alike in style and approach? * Are they from the same period of art history? * Do they depict the same subject?


Indicate how differences in style between the two works can highlight the difference between periods of art history.


Writing an art appreciation essay


The most popular essay topic is probably a visit to an art exhibition or gallery.


Sample question


‘Architecture, floor plan, lighting and display techniques all influence the overall visitor

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