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3 pages/≈825 words
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Visual & Performing Arts
English (U.S.)
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Formal analysis (Essay Sample)

Begin by going choosing two of the works from your experiences at the MFAH that will sustain your interest throughout the rest of the semester. Choose any two works from the collections. At least one of them (and preferably both) cannot be on the museum website. While you are in front of the object, describe it as completely as you can. Do not try to compose a polished essay on the spot, but simply note words or sentences as you observe the piece carefully. It will now be time to organize your words and sentences into a coherent, insightful description. Describe the object logically by guiding the reader through the object in some comprehensible movements: top to bottom, left to right or center to periphery, as the object requires. Focus on the most important aspects so that the reader \"sees\" what is important in the piece. For the formal analysis, you want to show the reader how the piece is organized - what makes it hang together, what the most important elements in the piece are and why, etc. You may need to compare your object with another to make a formal point ¨C this is good art historical practice. Help with the formal analysis may be found at the end of this document. Each object description and formal analysis should be approximately 500 words (1000 total). Title Artist (if known), Date, Culture Provenience (where it came from) Material it was made from, measurements (much of this information will come from the museum plaque. If some part of this information is unavailable, simply omit). so here is the 6 objects that we have in list. 1. gandharan, bodhisattva, 2nd-3rd century, gray schist 2. gandharan-head of bodhisattva, 3rd century 3. gandharan, images of the buddha, 2nd-4th centuries, gray schist 4. gandharan, kushan period, head of a buddha, 3rd-4th centuries 5. hindu, indian, shiva nataraja, 13th century 6. indian, kushan empire, mathura, standing yaksi, 2nd-3rd centuries so please choose two of the article from the list and look it up on the internet, usually there will be some picture of it, so please describe it and do formal analysis. source..
Art is a very interesting, appealing and educative skill of humankind that could be used to communicate. Visiting the MFAH Museum in Houston was fun and vey educative. The archeological records and articles are amazing and a sight to behold. Several items are placed strategically for the visitors to easily access them and gather all the necessary information. The staff and the information provided on the write-ups for each article are sufficient. The articles and sculptures are well preserved and maintained.
I managed to observe several objects, but two of them struck my curiosity and interest and I embarked on studying them more. I was interested in understanding their origin, date of discovery, material they were made of and also their structure and form amongst other observable aspects of the two sculptures. My interest and study was drawn onto the Gandharan-Head of Bodhisattva of the 3rd century and on the Shiva Nataraja of the 13th Century.
Gandharan-Head of Bodhisattva, 3rd Century
“Bodhisattva Padmapani” is the title give to the Head of Bodhisattva. It was found near Peshawar in Gandhara region, present day Afghanistan, Northern Pakistan, according to the Museum records. It is currently located in a gallery at the Detroit Institute of Arts in South-East Asia, resting on a black raised pedestal which is black in color. It stands against a terracotta-colored wall and slightly tilted to the right at an angle.
The information provided by the MFAH museum pertaining to the sculpture is that it is made of Gray Schist, with traces of pigment and gold and measures 20 3/4 x 16 1/2 x 8 inches. The sculpture portrays a well skilled craftsmanship work of art. The sculpture represents a culture within the Buddhist religion in ancient India.
Formal Analysis
The head carvings of Bodhisattva Padmapani are fine and articulate an indication that it represents a high quality image made with precision and much care. The headdress above the head stands out conspicuously and seems to have been made of quality jewels and ribbons adorned with beaded strings. Above the magnificent headdress appears to be a groove. There is a tapering tendon on a disc which is raised and displayed magnificently in the middle of the well jeweled ornamental headband and turban. On the top of the crown at the centre, it appears like a mask that is framed by quality finishing and feathers that seems chipped or hanging loose.
The hair looks smartly curled backwards with style and well carved. Around the face the hair is arranged in symmetrical arcs flowing upwards in series. The trimmings and the lumps of the curls are uniform. There are several loose chips hanging on the fore face and part of the nose has been chopped off. This might be as a result of mishandling or advanced years of storage. A conspicuous mark on the forehead above the nose depicts a usual decoration in the Indian culture. The supernatural immortal be...
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