APSU Notes

ART 1035 Introduction to Art
Assignment: Interpretation & Evaluation for Critical Analysis Assignment

This semester you will be completing a Critical Analysis of a work of art of your choosing. This is your main written assignment for the semester. The process of completing the Critical Analysis will be broken down into four separate assignments. These are:

  1. Image Selection
  2. Description & Analysis
  3. Interpretation & Evaluation
  4. Final Critical Analysis

The first three parts of the Critical Analysis Assignment will be for Credit, but any missed work or late work will affect your final Critical Analysis grade.

This week (Week Ten: March 28, 2022 - April 3, 2022) you will be completing the Critical Analysis: Interpretation & Evaluation part of your Critical Analysis. This will be due Sunday April 3, 2022, at 11:59 PM.

For this assignment you will be using the image you selected during week five.

You will write your Interpretation of your chosen work of art.

  • Look at Chapter 4 Section 4.3.3 Interpretation in the book to help you complete your interpretation.
  • Include your interpretation as well as how the interpretation might have changed due to time or culture.

You will write your Evaluation of your chosen work of art.

  • Look at Chapter 4 Section 4.3.4 Evaluation in the book to help you complete your evaluation.
  • Use your description, analysis, and interpretation to complete your evaluation.
  • What have you discovered about the work while examining it?
  • What do feel when looking at the work? Do you like the work?

Make sure you follow the following format:

  • Heading with name, course number/section, assignment title, and date in upper-left corner
  • Calibri or Arial font, do not use Times New Roman
  • 12 point
  • 1” margins
  • Double Spaced
  • Submitted in .pdf, .doc, or .docx format

When you turn your assignment in on D2L you will receive a similarity report through Turnitin, as well as a grammar check. Make sure you look at both items to help you in editing for your final Critical Analysis assignment. Your final paper will need to be 2 – 4 pages in length and have a similarity score of 15% or less.

This assignment is for Credit and will be calculated into the final grade of your Critical Analysis.

When working on your Critical Analysis: Interpretation and Evaluation please only submit the second half of your paper. Do not resubmit your Description and Analysis!

Example of Interpretation and Evaluation
Tabitha Sweitzer
ART 1035-W5
Critical Analysis: Interpretation & Evaluation
October 27, 2021


        Raphael painted The School of Athens in such a way as to connect the ancient past to the present-day beliefs of the Catholic church. Painted in the Stanza della Segnatura, or a meeting room for the Pontiff of the church, it relates to three other frescos in the same room. Each fresco contains an idea that was important to the beliefs of the Catholic church. The School of Athens relates to the importance of knowledge in the world. Raphael shows this connection with his placement of the vanishing point being on the two central figures. The placement of the remaining figures draws the viewers eyes back to the two central figures. These figures each hold a book, while one gestures toward the sky and the other gestures toward the ground. These gestures link the knowledge of heaven and earth together.

        Raphael continues to relate this fresco to the importance of knowledge by creating academic interests within each of the groups he has placed around the open area. The group in the bottom right corner appears to be discussing the earth and sky as well as some form of geometry, the individual at the chalk board is using a compass. The group in the bottom left are all focused on the books that surround them. The two groups at the top of the stairs stand around in deep conversations indicated by their body language and positions. The two loan individuals on the stairs are both absorbed in the books and papers they are reading.

        Raphael painted this fresco during the Renaissance, so the great interest in the societies of Ancient Greece and Rome and the knowledge that they had, was likely a key factor to why knowledge was represented in an Ancient Greek style setting. The meaning of this fresco has likely stayed the same since it was created, the connection of heavenly knowledge to earthly knowledge, and how they connect to the important ideas of the world. Today these important ideas reach beyond the Catholic church, but this fresco retains its original relations to the importance of knowledge in the world.

        The School of Athens was a key work within the Stanza della Segnatura as it connected the past to the present. The fresco brings a sense of wonder to the viewer at seeing so many great thinkers painted in one location. The sense of wonder within this fresco is not dependent on knowing if Raphael was trying to depict certain Ancient Greek philosophers, because the detail that Raphael gives each figure shows their intrigue and interest in the knowledge around them. The depth of detail allows the viewer to continually find new focuses and new ideas hidden within the fresco, both in the figures and within the background, keeping with the thought-provoking idea of the work. Raphael managed to illustrate and convey the academic realms in a calm manner, with discussions being intense but still orderly.

        The School of Athens has become one of my favorite works from the Renaissance. When looking at this work, I feel the calm and excitement of the gathering of great minds. I am drawn to the detail within the figures and enjoy examining them individually for their own symbolism and meaning. I also find great enjoyment in examining the details of the background and the connection they make between the past and the present. The individual figures that are breaking the picture plane by looking directly at the viewer give me pause and make me wonder what they are trying to tell me. Overall, I find The School of Athens a very thought provoking and interesting work of Renaissance art.