Evaluating and Analysing Art
J.M.W. Turner experimented with composition in some of his paintings.

Evaluating and Analysing Art

This quiz addresses the requirements of the National Curriculum KS3 in Art and Design for children aged 11 to 14 in years 7 to 9. Specifically this quiz is aimed at the section dealing with understanding evaluating and analysing creative artworks using the language of art, craft and design.

Although 'good' art may mean something different for everyone, there are usually several elements to a piece of artwork which can be assessed in order to decide how successful the artist was in conveying his or her meaning.

KS3 students should be able to demonstrate that they understand how to critically evaluate a piece of work, using the correct vocabulary and terminology.

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Evaluating and appreciating artworks are an integral part of the creative process and are linked to developing creative skills, knowledge and understanding, and enhancing enjoyment. These skills may also help young people to develop the skills to understand and analyse their visual environment. Young people today are almost overloaded with visual information in everyday life and therefore need 'visual literacy skills' to make sense of their world. An ability to understand visual metaphors and to think critically will allow a more enjoyable and active participation in life.

A very important starting point when evaluating art is to consider what each person brings from their own experience. Social and cultural values play a key role in how they go about analysing, interpreting and communicating meaning.

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Try this quiz to see how well you are at evaluating and analysing artworks.

Click on the pictures to make them larger.

  1. This is a self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh. What media do you think he has used?
    Van Gogh is famed for his use of colour. He created the majority of his works in oils
  2. Turner's famous painting 'The Fighting Temeraire', has an unusual composition. What is it that is unusual?
    Although the painting may seem slightly 'unbalanced', the sunset to the right provides a second focal point
  3. Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper' is a typical religious painting of its time. What do you notice about the expressions of the subjects?
    The apostles are all reacting in different ways to the announcement from Jesus that one of them will betray him
  4. What is this type of painting commonly known as?
    Still life paintings usually depict inanimate objects such as flowers, food or dead animals
  5. 'Composition No 10', by Piet Mondrian is typical of his abstract works. Which colours does he favour?
    Mondrian typically used a white background, black tram lines and blocks of vibrant primary colours
  6. This is 'The Peasant Wedding' by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Why are paintings like this helpful?
    Often Bruegel painted a community event and his paintings tell us all sorts of things about what life was like in those days
  7. This painting may seem like a simple portrait of youthful men, but Holbein hid something in the painting to remind us of our own mortality. What is it?
    The skull is known as anamorphic, as its perspective means it can only be seen from certain, extreme angles
  8. This is 'The Lady of Shalott' by John William Waterhouse. What do you think the painting is based on?
    "The Lady of Shalott" is a Victorian ballad by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Paintings in this era were often inspired by stories, myths or legends
  9. Sometimes paintings can tell us a lot about the life of the artist. What do you surmise about the life of Edvard Munch from this painting.
    Edvard had much sadness and trauma in his life, which greatly influenced his works
  10. Pablo Picasso had a 'blue period', where he painted largely in blues and greens. What emotion or mood might this convey?
    These sombre works, inspired by Spain and painted in Barcelona and Paris, are now some of his most popular works, although he had difficulty selling them at the time

Author: Angela Smith

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