General InstructionsPrimary Source Analysis AssignmentWhat is a primary source? A primary source is a something that was composedor createdby aperson who lived within theperiod of study and dates to that period. Primary sources can include written documents, artworks, buildings, and anything else that dates to the period of study.Art historians consult both written documents as well as material works (art, artifacts, architecture) in their research. In this assignment, you will be given the opportunity to critically analyze two primary sources: a written text and a material item. You may choose your sources from the list of options below. There are numerous ways in which you can interpret each of these sources and demonstrate creativity in your paper. Whatever the angle or avenue that you decide to take, your analyses and criticism of the primary sources should be based on the following:1)What you have learned throughassigned textbook readings.2)Connections or observations you make as you study the sources.3)Quality research (digging in books, articles, etc. to better understand the sources.What to DiscussIn your paper, please do the following:1.Analyze a Written Primary Source (document)When you approach your primary source document, don’t merely read through it, but investigate it and dissect it! A mere summary of the document is not acceptable; your paper must contain your original ideas, questions, and analysis (see the supplemental web links for more information). When art historians examine a written document, they usually look for and discuss the following aspects, which you can use as guidelines for your paper:•Content▪The subject matter, intent, opinions and implication of the writers/s▪Themes you noticed in the text.▪Meaning (what the document might have meant in its original context, or how it may have been understood by people in the era of study)•Language▪Specifics and nuances of language and tone in the text itself.•Significance▪How the document reflects or is a reflection of its broader historical context, whether that be political, religious, social, etc., or a combination thereof.2.Analyze a Material Primary Source (work of art/architecture/artifact)Analyzing a material primary source is similar to analyzing a document, except that your evidence in this case will generally rely on the visual trains of a work of art. Art historians consider the following aspects when analyzing a work of art, which you are to use as guidelines:•FormThe visual aspects of a work of art (consult the textbook introduction for a refresher):▪Elements of Art (line, shape, value, color, texture, time, motion)▪Principles of Design (unity of the composition, variety, rhythm, balance, proportion)▪Media (materials used)▪Technique (how the work was made)▪Style
•Content▪The subject matter, intent, opinion and implications of artist▪Themes, iconography, symbolism▪Meaning (what the artwork might have meant in its original context, or how it may have been understood by people in the era of study)•Significance/Context▪How the artwork reflects or is a reflection of its broader historical context (political, religious, social, etc.)▪How the artwork fits into a particular interpretation of the past.3.Discuss the Relationship between Written and Material SourcesFinally, consider how your written and material primary sources relate to one another:•What connections exist between the two sources?•What common themes prevail in both sources?•Are there any significant differences between them?•How does the relationship between the two sources illuminate our understanding of the period?Primary Source OptionsYou are required to select and completeONEoption from the list below. Each option consists oftwo primary sources: one written source and one material source. NOTE: the written primary source documents are available to you as files on CANVAS under the “Primary Source Analysis” module. The material sources are all figures from your textbook.
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