Las Dos Fridas

Formal Analysis—the what and how—this will include a detailed visual description of the work (500 words or 2-pages double-spaced) that will use vocabulary from the elements and principles of art and an assessment of the work’s techniques and materials.
Contextual Analysis—the who, where, and when—this will be an overall description of who made the work (either an artist or culture) or who it was made for, where it was made, and when it was made, almost like a biography of the work (500 words or 2-pages double-spaced)
Critical Analysis—the why—this will be a brief analysis (250 word or 1-page double-spaced) of why this work matters, either why it mattered when it was made, or why it matters now, and any questions/concerns that the work raises. This will largely be based on your educated opinions.
Creative Interpretation/Project—this is open-ended and will be some kind of creative project based on or inspired by the work, such as a museum label, an artistic reinterpretation of the work, a faux artist statement, a movie, or any other creative project you’d like to try based on the work and what you think of it. (written versions should be 1 to 2-pages double spaced; videos should be 3-5 minutes)

For the formal analysis, describe the work. You only describe the visual details here, so don’t tell me what things symbolize or represent. That’s for the critical analysis section! Make sure to think about organization. Do you want to describe sections of the work and move around the painting or sculpture, or would you rather discuss line, then color, then shape, etc.? What aspects of visual description are the most relevant for your work? (A sculpture might not have much of a discussion of color, but would have more to say about texture, while a painting might be the opposite)

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For the contextual analysis, think about the artist’s biography and what about their life might be relevant to the painting. Also think about where and when the painting was made and what artistic styles were happening? Does it fit the era or place it was made? What details are interesting and relevant?

The critical analysis will be where you think about the larger importance of the work (what does it all mean, what does it symbolize both on a detail level and to the culture of the time/to today). What would you say to convince someone that it matters, or what larger discussions come up with the work (if any), based on the critical methods we went over in Unit 6?

For your creative interpretation, give me more details about what you plan to do and how you plan on doing it. If it is a written project, draft it here!


Introduces the paper and the paper’s argument. Usually contains the thesis statement.

Body/Development of Analysis:

Each element you discuss in your paper should be analyzed in its own paragraph. You may find it helpful to begin each paragraph with a topic sentence about the significance of the element and end with a concluding statement.


The conclusion may summarize your findings and relate back to the theme presented in your introduction; however, you should avoid simply repeating what you offered in the introduction. You may also include any new ideas, insights, or understandings you gained about the work through the analysis process.

Thesis Statement:

A thesis statement does the following:

Tells the reader what to expect
Tells the reader your opinion, or how you will interpret the information
Presents your argument or main idea to the reader

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