Visual Analysis

A formal analysis includes an analysis of the forms appearing in the work you have chosen. These forms (eg line, shape, value, etc) give the work its expression, message, or meaning.
A formal analysis assumes a work of art is:
• a constructed object
• that has been created with a stable meaning (even though it might not be clear to the viewer)
• that can be ascertained by studying the relationships between the elements of the work.
Think as if you were describing the work of art to someone who has never seen it before. When your reader finishes reading your analysis, she/he should have a complete mental picture of what the work looks like. Yet, the formal analysis is more than just a description of the work. It should also include a thesis statement that reflects your conclusions about the work, perhaps answering a question like:
• What do I think is the meaning of this work?
• What is the message that this work or artist sends to the viewer?

Sample Solution