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Art Historian Project: Use of Symbolism in Dutch Painting From 1500-1800CE (Essay Sample)


Assignment Objective
To create a well-researched, creative, and educational presentation (although there will be no actual presentation, just a submitted assignment) of a relevant course topic.
Imagine you, a distinguished art historian, are going to give an educational presentation to an audience who has little to no knowledge of the specific subject.
1. Create a visual presentation that would effectively teach one of the topics listed below.
a. The visual presentation can either be in Powerpoint format or an equivalent slideshow program, or in a MS Word document (or other text editing software).  b. The presentation should be between 10 and 20 slides, or contain an equivalent amount of information in a fewer number of animated (layered) Powerpoint slides.
c. Information sources and quoted text must be properly cited on the slide using APA formatting.
d. It should include labels and descriptive text.  
2. Included with the PowerPoint or Word document must be a separate written script (consider these the notes for your presentation, should you ever present it live) containing the information highlighted by each slide. This script must be in proper paragraph structure and not simply point form. Please note the emphasis placed on this part in the total grade for this assignment.
3. The length of the written script should be approximately 1200 words (around 4 pages).
4. The goal of the assignment is to produce a creative visual display that would best highlight the topic – its main points, and most important facts, and be not only visually interesting but succeed as an educational presentation as well.  Marks will be based around the quality of the research and written script, the creativity of the presentation, and the clarity with which the subject is taught.
 Topic List
Please choose only one of the following topics:
o The evolution of architecture from the Renaissance to Neo-Classicism
o The use of perspective in Renaissance painting from Early Renaissance to the Baroque
o The evolution of the depiction of human emotion in Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo art (painting and sculpture)
o The art of portraiture – from Early Renaissance to Neo-Classicism (you may also narrow this to include only the topic of ‘self-portraiture’)
o The use of symbolism in Dutch painting from 1500-1800 CE
1. Final format will be determined by the student, but a digitized final document is mandatory.
2. Save as a PDF before uploading to the submission page on the course web site.
3. Your information should be in proper sentence and paragraph structure, and use APA or MLA style citation.  ALL sources must be put into a bibliography and cited in the essay where applicable.
4. Save file as: ARTH120_Assignment2_lastname_firstname.pdf
5. Special instructions: As a prudent precaution, always email the instructor the document after uploading to the Online Campus. This lessens the possibility of a tech mishap.
Activity/Competencies Demonstrated % of Final Grade
Document follows instructions. /10
Presentation is easy to follow and helps the viewer understand the intent and relationship of the selections.   There is visual cohesion with the layout. /20
Spelling, grammar, citation and all technical mechanics of the writing are addressed. /20
Slide notes use appropriate terms, extends knowledge and effectively explores the content for the lay person. /50
Total /100
Assignment Value (%) 20% /20


Art Historian Project: Use of Symbolism in Dutch Painting From 1500-1800CE
Use of Symbolism in Dutch Painting From 1500-1800CE
Symbolism or the use of symbols is a common feature for most artistic works since time immemorial. In most cases, these symbols usually represent something in the culture, religion, politics or the social lives of the artists. The Dutch paintings from 1500 up to 1800CE provide good examples of how symbolism was used during the periods. While the paintings of the earlier years leading to the 15th century were based largely on religious subjects, the Dutch Golden Age brought with it many changes and great prosperity that saw the subject of art change. This therefore means that the type and manner in which symbols were used also changed significantly. With this in mind, the main aim of this paper is to look into the use of symbolism in Dutch painting from the 1500 period to the 18th century.
Symbolism in Dutch painting was used to emphasize some of the most important values and virtues amongst the Dutch. This was especially the case during the 16th century when the Dutch people were increasingly involved in creating wealth and living luxurious lives, hence the paintings of the time used symbolism that was meant to remind people of the desired values. Considering this, Jan Vermeer’s The Milkmaid painting tends to use a lot of such symbolism.

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