Due Wednesday, April 17, at the beginning of class. All papers submitted after class begins or later will be marked as late and graded according to course policy.

20% of final grade.

Choose two DRAWN OR PAINTED PORTRAITS (i.e., not sculpture) at the Frick Collection to compare against one another. These pieces can, but do not have to be contemporaneous with one another. Likewise, they can, but do not have to be executed by the same artist. If you choose a self-portrait, you can, but do not have to compare it to another self-portrait. Do your best to choose examples that conform to the ways in which we have defined portraiture in class. To make things simpler, try to select portraits of sitters that the artist him- or herself would have seen/known, rather than imagined portraits of historical personages from centuries past. For reasons that should be obvious, avoid images of mythological figures (unless, of course, the sitter is dressed up in the guise of such a figure). I hope this is clear, but if you have any doubts about the pieces you’ve chosen, please contact me or see me in my office hours. Bear in mind that some temporary exhibitions at the Frick contain several portraits that you might like to use.

Compare and contrast your two portraits in FOUR typed pages (double-spaced) using the same kinds of formal criteria you considered in your first assignment (e.g. line, color, composition, etc.). You may wish to refer back to the link I sent you in the first assignment about outlines these points in greater detail. These formal criteria should be used to advance a THESIS or argument (i.e., they are not to be described as ends in themselves). It may be helpful to think of your thesis as an argument for why a comparison of these two portraits can be fruitful in the first place. What does a comparison of them show us that an analysis of each one considered individually might not? Again, be sure to provide specific visual evidence for your statements and assertions.

Remember, this is NOT a research paper. You simply need to examine the works you have chosen carefully and relate them to one another in a meaningful way with a clear and well-developed thesis. There is no need to talk about the history of the works themselves or give me biographies of the artists, sitters, etc. Obviously, the paper will entail much more than an elaboration of the didactic plaques in the museum. Just LOOK at the works as we have been doing in class.

Finally, you MUST staple your admission ticket to your paper in order to receive full credit for the assignment (no exceptions). I also ask that you attach images of your two portraits to the end of your paper. The Frick does not allow photography, so try to find the image of your portrait on their website, which is quite extensive and complete (www.frick.org).


Good luck, and have fun!

P.S. The cost of a student admission at the Frick is $10. I am keenly aware that this may pose a slight financial burden for some of you, so bear in mind that on Sundays the Frick offers a “pay what you wish” option from 11AM-1PM. The Frick Collection is located at 1 East 70th Street.

www.frick.org