Writing a thesis is among the daunting ventures students have to undertake throughout their doctorate programs. For art history students, the struggle is increased by the complexity of the art history thesis.
Since the primary documents under study are works of art, the onus for students is to translate visual info into verbal information. Students are also required to analyze their perceptions of objects according to their cultural and historical concepts.
How to write an art history thesis
Art history theses are often limited to various elements that define your scrutiny of various works of art. These elements include:
This refers to the visual aspects of the subject under study. When defining this, you should define the features that you can observe and define the techniques employed to develop the art form.
During formal analysis, you should focus on lines, shapes and forms, space, color, and texture. You could also highlight the emotions and symbolisms encapsulated by the artforms under study.
For this, you should place the image in its historical context and evaluate the influence of the environment on the art form. These factors may be political, religious, social-economic, or cultural.
Theory and criticism
This element gauges the worth of artwork. Here, you can gauge any influence from other work and expressive theories ingrained in the artwork.
Your criticism based on art theory will help you place the artwork in its right context in terms of style and movements in art history. Some of the major themes to consider are; expressionism, instructuralism, naturalism, postmodernism, Poststructuralism, and social art history.
Tips for writing an art history thesis
- Choose a topic that you love. This will help you endure long hours of research as it scratches your curiosity itch.
- Put the artist’s name, work, and date in the first paragraph. Later on in the paper, you can refer to the artwork by its title. However, avoid writing the author’s biography as your focus should be on their artwork.
- Express your ideas in a logical flow, with each point/ argument taking its paragraph.
Art history thesis ideas
Selecting the thesis topic is the vital and most stressful phase of thesis preparation. If done poorly, it may trigger tons of stress as you go about researching and writing the thesis.
To avoid this, students should use actual art history thesis examples as inspiration for their topics. These examples help students analyze the validity of their perspectives and double as materials to support their arguments.
Some of the history thesis paper topics you might consider include:
- Stylistic shifts from ancient Romanesque designs
- A study of the existent gothic paintings
- An artist’s main influence
- Futurism and its basic principles
- A case study of the images in art history and the theme they communicate
- Definitive theories in history and art development
- Impact of modern technology in expressing art
- The more things change, the more they remain the same: a comparative essay of photography and ancient art
- Modern cartoons as art forms
- Unusual techniques of (artist’s name) artwork
- Monumental structures in European cathedrals
- History of feminism art portrayals
- Expressionism in art history
- The role of art in historical study and analysis
- Graffiti as modern art
- The stylistic art of disguise
These art thesis ideas are not the only options at your disposal rather suggestions to guide you to brainstorm a relevant topic.