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Artwork Essay Topic

If you need interesting expository essay topics for your next writing assignment on the history of art, there are many ideas from which to choose. That being said, if you need some help getting started, consider the following 20:

  1. Religious Influence on Artwork
  2. How Art Depicts Religion
  3. Art as Historical Documentation for Buddhism
  4. Late Renaissance Artistic Tendencies
  5. Baroque Artistic Tendencies
  6. How Art Emphasized Relationships Between Political, Social, and Economic Atmospheres
  7. Transitional Artistic Periods of Time
  8. The Utilization of New Components for Human Features and Natural Beauty
  9. Biblical Depictions
  10. Paintings Versus Statues
  11. Mannerism Influence in Italy
  12. The High Renaissance Influence for Italian Composers and Artists
  13. Ancient Greek Artwork
  14. Ancient Native American Art
  15. How New Artists Include Themes and Techniques of Older Generations
  16. History of African Art
  17. History of Asian Art
  18. Cultural Influence In Artistic Trends
  19. How Local Natural Elements Influence Artistic Design Around the World
  20. Changes in Historically Important Artistic Periods

Aren’t those topics cool? To get a better idea of some interesting facts on the History of Art, plus additional guidance on how to write an expository essay about it check the hyperlinks. Below is a sample expository essay on one of the topics listed above to give you additional assistance: 10 facts, how to.

Sample Expository Essay on Art as the Historical Documentation of Buddhism

Art has a long history of serving as a record keeper for historical events and this is also true of Buddhism. There are three foundations or Jewels of Buddhism. The first is the Buddha, and the second is Dharma which is the teachings. The third is the Sangha — the community. Buddhists are generally distinguished from non-Buddhists through taking refuge in the third Jewel. Other facets of the practice include supporting the monastic community, becoming a monk, developing a mindfulness in meditation, practicing meditation, cultivating higher discernment and wisdom, studying the scriptures, practicing devotion, and practicing traditional ceremonies (Kohn 143). In early South Asian artwork, the four great miracles of the Buddha’s life are described along with his life cycle. It is encompassed by the aforementioned ideals through a combination of influential styles and symbols which were indicative of the political, social, and economic condition of the specified period.

From this transitional time period of the Buddhism expansion came the four panels depicting the stories from the holy text pertaining to the life of the Buddha. The stupas are depicted in chronological order, focusing on the four great miracles in the life of Buddha (Saunders). The Buddha is represented in symbols of trees, pillars, thrones, and the wheel of Dharma. All until the moment when Buddha is shown as human and has reached the enlightenment. Greek and Indian combinations in terms of the iconology are demonstrated throughout the forms that Buddha takes in all four panels. Form of the Buddha in the first panels shows the perfect oval egg for the head, eyebrows which show an Indian bow curve, lotus bud eyes, ears which represent a Sanskrit symbol, and the embodiment of a lion through the wide breast and narrow waist. The head is meant to represent a bull while the arms are indicative of elephant trunks. The hands are lotus petals (Saunders).

Early text suggests that the Buddha was born on the Indian subcontinent during the 5th century BC where his father was an elected chieftain. The Theravada text states that he was born in modern-day Nepal in the year 563 BC, raised in Kapilavastu. One of the four great miracles, depicted as one of the four great events was this birth. In the common artwork, the Buddha emerges from the right hip of his standing mother Maya with a halo. The halo is the symbol of divine radiance and is affiliated with deities and royalty in South Asian communities. The artwork borrows from Greek and Roman art in terms of the wreaths placed around the woman’s head, the people holding cornucopias, and the long-sleeved clothing (Dehejia).

The second great miracle was the Buddha’s enlightenment. After the birth of this prince, it was prophesized by an astrologer that he would either be a king like his father or a holy man upon leaving the palace walls. It is clear that his father was against the notion of a holy man because he was forbidden to leave. Upon his departure, he encountered an old suffering man, a sick suffering man, a corpse, and an ascetic holy man which all encouraged the four sights and his spiritual quest. He began studying under famous religious teachers that day, first mastering meditation. Discovering that mere meditation did not end suffering, the Buddha continued on his path to fasting, holding his breath, and exposing himself to pain in order to end suffering, but this did not work. It was through this near death experience and closeness to the earth that he discovered the idea of moderation in terms of self-mortification and self-indulgence. When he was 35, he sat in a sacred fig tree to meditate in Bodh Gaya, India. He did not rise until he achieved enlightenment. The second piece of artwork shows the Buddha under a tree meditating while he is attacked by demons of Mara.

After achieving enlightenment, a monastic order was instituted at the first teaching of his new band of followers. Teaching the path to awakening, he traveled and taught until his death. The third panel is the first sermon, which is meant to portray the humanity in the Buddha as he preaches to a crowd. The deer in the panel is used to describe the location of Deer Park at Sarnath. The two deer here are meant to demonstrate the willingness and appreciation of the earth and all creations of the enlightenment that the human Buddha attained. Between the two deer the dharma is placed which is an icon from Hindu indicative of kingship. While normally attached to Hindi gods to demonstrate their materialistic authority, in this case it is used to demonstrate the spiritual authority. This panel demonstrates the period which was the first Buddhist law (Dehejia).

The journey to nirvana is the concept demonstrated in the fourth panel. On this panel his death in India is indicative of the entire Buddhist belief. The panel shows chieftains mourning the immense loss while looking over his body with grief and lack of understanding while the monks are at peace, enlightened by the idea that his passing is nothing more than a release from the endless cycle of rebirth.

References:
Dehejia, Vidya. Stupas and Sculptures of Early Buddhism. Asian Art, Vol. 2 No. 2 1989.
Freedberg, David. “The power of images.” Art History 15.2 (1992): 275-278.
Kohn, Michael. The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen. Shambhala. 1991.
Gombrich, Richard. Theravada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo. Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1988.
Preziosi, Donald, ed. The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology: A Critical Anthology. Oxford University Press, 1998.
Robinson et al., Buddhist Religions, page xx; Philosophy East and West, vol 54, Williams, Mahayana Buddhism, Routledge, 1st ed., 1989.
Saunders, Dale. Murda: A Study of Symbolic Gestures in Japanese Buddhist Sculptur.e New York Pantheon Books, 1960 pl. 11.

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Tags: expository essay ideas, expository essay topics

Say 'Hello Reflection Paper'

First of all, let us consider what the reflection paper is. A reflection paper is an essay in which you are to describe your thoughts and ideas about something, usually connected with experiences of your own. Usually, it may be on such topics like books, films, events, etc. In other words, it’s a paper where you share what you think about something (or almost everything). But despite that, bear in mind that some teachers may give you a generalized topic (about your opinion on global warming, for instance) or vice versa - specified, for example about the brightest memories of childhood or the causes of your phobias as a child. The conception of reflection paper resembles a narrative essay a little. I mean, if to think about it generally it may be any topic on which you can write your own thoughts.

To be confident in what you are going to write, it is also important for you to know what does not refer to the notion of a reflection paper. First of all, a reflection paper is not a defective cocktail of many different, third-party opinions and thoughts of other people. It should be you, yourself, special and unique. And if you like to use quotations of famous personalities – you are about to fail this task. It doesn’t really matter what outstanding people you will quote, this type of essay requires your own thoughts – so try hard to express yourself. This is the main essay hack I can give you.

Okay, What’s Next?

So, as we’ve already said hello reflection paper and found out that this is an essay form which should be mostly about your personal perceptions we can proceed. During the writing process you can feel free to share your beliefs and experiences. It could be your personal observation on any topic. No limits, no restrictions, no barriers. Nobody can tell you what your thinking should be like. I believe it will be easy to write because you just have to express your thoughts and how you see things, without using any specified writing styles. So ponder of something great and create!

The essay outline is pretty easy because there are no special restrictions. So if you already have a topic – start your paper with an introduction. It’s up to you how to start (and proceed) your reflection paper whatever you want. And so is the situation with the essay conclusion. The best you can do is to give a general statement that will prepare your teacher or just a simple reader for the main part of your reflection paper. Be certain to include your thesis statement in the introduction. And remember that this is the statement that will sum up the entire essay.

How About the Art Reflection Paper in Particular?

Well-well-well, just look how much you’ve learned by now! I’m sure that you already have enough essay ideas and essay inspiration, too. So now our writing guide is heading to the next stop. As you know from the above, in reflection paper essay you should share thoughts and beliefs of your own concerning some particular topic. But what if your topic is related to art? Of course, you can easily find plenty of essay hook examples and essay hooks as well, but how to tell about it through the prism of your inner world? Imagine yourself as a triangle on famous Pink Floyd’s album cover – reduce the white light into the specter. Release the simple statement into something colorful and special – and this rainbow will be your individual vision of the thesis. And now, let’s have a look what you can do here.

What is art for you? For me, it is an integral part of life – either it’s music or drawing, literature or photography, beautifully made bouquet or the mess on the table. Everyone can describe and understand art in their own way, and each of them will be in their own right. Art can be a mess, art can be a salvation, and art can be a pure schizophrenia the greatest gift of Gods – w-h-a-t-e-v-e-r you want. Yes, that’s easy as two plus two, and ABC, and what else is easy on Earth. So you can distinguish some exact field you will dwell upon, or you can write about something concerning art in general – it’s only up to you. Feel free, don’t be afraid to share, it’s like anonymous AA meeting – no one will judge you.

Art Reflection Paper Topic Ideas

So if you’ve already went bored of my long lasting fancy speeches, grasped the main ideas of the previous paragraph and can’t wait to start writing – I think you are still interested how the reflection paper topics on art can look like. They can be of ANY kind, you will see. They may be useful if you should choose the topic by yourself and don’t have a clear conception of that stuff. Having a ready topic will also ease you the process of creating a title for the essay. So I will not try your patience anymore, and here are the top-30 topic ideas for writing a reflection paper about art, which are running for you with the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog, or the Golden Snitch, or Flash. Enjoy!

Dance

  • The difficulties of the perception of contemporary dance;
  • What is the connection between the outfits worn by dancers and the characters portrayed by them;
  • Ballet VS Contemporary dance. MC on the left, introduce yourself;
  • How does the dance associated with theatrical skills?
  • Is it possible to dance to modern music?

 

Performing Arts

  • Why should we go to opera in XXI century?
  • How to subjoin kids to theater or “Mom, please, why can’t I go play football?”
  • How actors start crying without any onion and make you believe them?
  • The art of sitting silently or why I like going to the theater;
  • Can I act in theatrical offerings after several lessons?

 

Architecture

  • Is gothic architecture really obscure?
  • Modern and classic architecture – whose side you’re on?
  • Architectural designs and your attitude towards them;
  • Architectural sights as a tourist attraction in your city;
  • Pompous and lavish buildings – should they stay or should they go;

Music

  • God bless post punk or what kind of  joy has Joy Division left;
  • Is there really a place for addiction in musician’s life?
  • Rap music against the kids: What we are going to have in several decades;
  • Is there really a Devil behind heavy-metal and his ilk?
  • Does listening to pop music doesn’t mean you’re dumb?

 

Painting

  • Is it a cat? Is it a dog? Is it a contemporary art masterpiece?
  • Pollock VS da Vinci: Do we really moving backwards;
  • Van Gogh as a modern style icon;
  • Paint it black: Was Malevich an early fan of Rolling Stones?
  • Promising Russian artists and where to find them;

 

Literature

  • Why Chuck Palahniuk is still collecting the hearts of the readers?
  • Steven King as a reason of your unhealthy sleep;
  • Who else should kill George R.R. Martin?
  • The problems the latest film adaptation of “The Great Gatsby”
  • Can I write the second "Twilight" or Potteriana if I'm 16.

So, as you can see, the diversity of topics can be really wide. But these are only the examples and you can write about everything you want – more adequate and interesting, I suppose. Thus, if you have chosen the topic you like to write on – it’s high time to go to the next action. It is quite simple – just expand and develop your essay with your thoughts concerning topic, express yourself and all that stuff we’ve discussed before. Also, it’s good to remember that reflection paper referring to art in most cases may be about your impressions about some particular art piece, or artist, or genre.

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