This Is Example of a First Year Essay Which Was Given a Distinction

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This is an example of a first year essay which was given a distinction. Click on the highlights to read the comments. Certain words may be unfamiliar to you. Click on them to read their definitions in the glossary.

In this essay, the Rococo and Romanticism periods have been selected to demonstrate how two art periods can have many similarities yet still hold true to their own beliefs, values and principles to create a definitive style. Antoine Watteau's painting, L'Indifferent, 1716, oil on canvas, 25cm x 18cm and Eugene Delacroix's Paganini, 1831, oil on cardboard on wood panel, approx. 43cm x 28cm have been selected to represent the Rococo and Romanticism periods respectively.

The writer could perhaps have given some indication here of how the essay will unfold by making some reference to its structure as well as its content.This opening sentence clearly sets out what the essay is about. It shows that the writer's argument is that these two periods are similar but distinct. Rococo was a style of art that followed on from the Baroque period in the early 18th century. The artists of this style typically depicted themes of "love, artfully and archly pursued through erotic frivolity and playful intrigue". 1 Both the art and interior design of the time displayed a sense of rhythm in which "[e]verything seemed organic, growing, and in motion, an ultimate refinement of illusion". 2 The artists of this period were also starting to express themselves and their feelings about their themes in their work. Some of the works seem to be edging toward the ideals of the Romanticism period, even though they were at opposite ends of the 18th century.

This paragraph provides a succinct definition of the period and its key features.Notice how this quotation has been skillfully integrated into the writer's own sentence. Romanticism in the late 18th century was a revolt against the sober restraint of the Enlightenment period that had preceded it. 3 This was a period encompassing the "desire for freedom - not only political freedom but also freedom of thought, of feeling, of action, of worship, of speech and of taste". 4 Artists wanted only to produce pure, truthful art that was "based on the predominance of feeling and imagination." 5 Works in the Romantic period depict not only the Romantic ideal of love but also 'Gothic' horror, as this too could be explored to discover the 'sublime'.

This sentence should be referenced to show where the writer encountered this idea of the 'Gothic' and the 'sublime'.The writer is relying heavily on this one reference. Using a range of references broadens your discussion. Some of these quotations could be paraphrased instead. The works discussed in this essay share obvious similarities. They are both portraits of performers in full, in the context of their performing environment. In Watteau's L'Indifferent, there is a sense of the subject posing for the portrait in a very festive manner which is characteristic of the Rococo period. By contrast, in Delacroix's Paganini the performer seems to carry himself with a much more intrinsic purpose, perhaps enacting a more truthful value that is typical of the Romantic ideal. There is, nevertheless, a similarity in the two poses that suggests motion, as both performers seem to be caught in mid movement. This dynamic quality was not typical of the other art movements prior to or during the 18th century, where portraits tended to depict people in staid, sober poses.

This statement, too, should be referenced.
Watteau's painting of the dancer seems soft and flouncy, yet it is obvious that it is a well thought out work. The writer's choice of language have indicated the conditional nature of the observations. The colours are used to compliment and support the painting's composition, with the hue of the foliage seemingly reflected in the velvet of the dancer's clothes. The colour used in the cape has also been added to the accessories on the shoe and hat. Both...
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