Whether you are an art major or filling a requirement, there is a high probability that writing a research paper on art and artists is in your future as a college student.
Find a good art related topic idea here. (Credit: SBU.edu)
The art world offers a range of ideas that you can gear towards your interests or a specific class, whether that means focusing on art history, specific artistic movements or even one or more famous artists.
Start with Questia
Questia is a great place to start when exploring research paper topics on art and artists. The online library contains many starting points for study in the art and architecture category. For instance you could explore specific categories such as:
Questia isn’t just a great resource when it comes to research paper topics, it also can help you actually write your research paper. The site offers many tools via the Writing Center, including help for finding a research paper topic, as well as tips on creating a good thesis statement and drafting an outline. For any sources you use through Questia, you can create a folder for your project where you can easily take notes, highlight pertinent sections and cite any sources.
Think about art history
Perhaps the most obvious area to explore for a research paper on art and artists is to examine art history, from an analysis of specific artistic movements or comparing/contrasting famous artists.
Is there a specific artistic movement that you have always been drawn to? That is a good place to begin your exploration of research paper topics. For instance, if you like the Impressionists, you could investigate the major artists that fall into this category. If you prefer to approach the topic from a different vantage point, you could evaluate The Women Impressionists as presented in the book by Russell T. Clement, Annick Houzé and Christiane Erbolato-Ramsey. The book provides insight into four of the movement’s primary female contributors—Mary Stevenson Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, Eva Gonzales, and Marie Bracquemond—who were often overlooked by the art world until the 1970s when feminist art criticism began.
Another idea is to examine a movement or famous artists that you are less familiar with as a means to broaden your knowledge. If you have struggled to understand symbolism in art, you could investigate that topic on Questia to gain a better grasp of it.
The website, ItalianRenaissance.org, offers some basic areas to get you started:
1. Pick a single topic and do a book report style research paper.
2. Compare two or more topics within your paper.
3. Ask a question you do not know the answer to, and seek out the solution.
4. Consult with your professor for a topic (have a preference in mind before you select this option).
Want to learn more about artists? Check out Questia—particularly the section on the artistic styles and movements.
Are there specific artistic movements or famous artists that you’re interested in? Let us know in the comments.
Art history research paper topics and their writing processes differ from other college and university academic papers that students are assigned to write. In such papers you make the necessary arguments concerning the things you see; to be more precise you interpret visual information into verbal information. To write a really good research paper on art history, you should be familiar with the terms needed to describe the work of art and it is extremely important to choose appropriate art history research paper topics.
Art History Research Paper Topics: Types
You can cover your art history research paper in 2 ways:
- Narrative – the description of the facts concerning the topic, which is based on opinions and facts.
- Analytical – the presented argument should be supported by the evidence.
Art History Research Paper Topics: Renaissance
Choosing the Renaissance period as their art history research paper topics, students usually pay special attention to Michelangelo’s style. You can compare several of his early works with his later works and discuss the factors which changed his style of painting.
It is also recommended to evaluate Leonardo Da Vinci’s career and his influence on art.
Art History Research Paper Topics: Far East
The Buddhist architecture and Indian sculpture and painting are inexhaustible topics for research papers on art. You can compare Indian, Japanese and Chinese visual arts and point out differences and similarities between them.
Art History Research Paper Topics: Middle Ages. Gothic and Romanesque
This is a large field for discussions and descriptions, for example, you can compare buildings of the Romanesque architecture, explain the role of illuminated manuscripts in art, etc.
Art History Research Paper Topic Examples
- Main similarities and differences between the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.
- Features of sculptures in ancient Greece. The influence of science on sculptures.
- The role of Mughal paintings in forming the image of the Mughal kings in India.
- Biblical motives in Leonardo da Vinci’s early paintings.
- Surrealism in Salvador Dali’s sculptures.
- The origin of the traditional Japanese and Chinese costumes and their impacts on culture.
- Key changes in methodology in paintings at the epoch of Impressionism. The differences in paintings of two impressionists: Edgar Degas and Claude Monet.
- The main features of late Baroque architecture (c. 1660 – c. 1725)
- The history of creating The Death of Sardanapalus and its place in Eugène Delacroix’s paintings.
- Different mannerisms in Pablo Picasso’s paintings, from Art Nouveau to Cubism: evolution, or just separate periods in his oeuvre?
- The combination of different art styles in the extraordinary painting The Kiss by Gustav Klimt.
- Various interpretations of The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.
- Ancient Greek motifs in Michelangelo’s sculpture, David.
- The psychology of color in Kazimir Malevich’s works.
- Realistic and artificial motifs in Jasper John’s Flag.
- Why was Renaissance art so overwhelmed with Christian symbols and themes?
- Was Hitler’s artwork actually good?
- Is the majority of modern art a scam?
- What was the influence of the Industrial Revolution on art development?
- What is so special about the carving The Veiled Virgin?
- What were the main reasons of the Roman artistic style shift in the 4th century?
- How were Victorian beauty standards depicted?
- What is so special about the light in Monet’s Sunrise?
- What were the primary aims of the camera obscura and how did it change throughout the years?
- Compare the critiquing styles of Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg.
- What are the peculiar features of Art Deco hotels in French Indochina?
- Was sculpture art the main business in Venice?
- The connection between French caricatures of the 19th century and Goya’s prints.
- What is so unusual and unique in Russian icons?
- The evolution of the uncovered body in paintings of various periods and countries.
You may also be interested in other research paper topics that cover various disciplines.
Art History Research Paper Topics Help
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