ARTS - Herzberg: Writing Essays About Art
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What is a Compare and Contrast Essay?
What is a compare / contrast essay.
In Art History and Appreciation, contrast / compare essays allow us to examine the features of two or more artworks.
- Comparison -- points out similarities in the two artworks
- Contrast -- points out the differences in the two artworks
Why would you want to write this type of essay?
- To inform your reader about characteristics of each art piece.
- To show a relationship between different works of art.
- To give your reader an insight into the process of artistic invention.
- Use your assignment sheet from your class to find specific characteristics that your professor wants you to compare.
How is Writing a Compare / Contrast Essay in Art History Different from Other Subjects?
You should use art vocabulary to describe your subjects..
- Find art terms in your textbook or an art glossary or dictionary
You should have an image of the works you are writing about in front of you while you are writing your essay.
- The images should be of high enough quality that you can see the small details of the works.
- You will use them when describing visual details of each art work.
Works of art are highly influenced by the culture, historical time period and movement in which they were created.
- You should gather information about these BEFORE you start writing your essay.
If you describe a characteristic of one piece of art, you must describe how the OTHER piece of art treats that characteristic.
Example: You are comparing a Greek amphora with a sculpture from the Tang Dynasty in China.
If you point out that the color palette of the amphora is limited to black, white and red, you must also write about the colors used in the horse sculpture.
Organizing Your Essay
The thesis for a comparison/contrast essay will present the subjects under consideration and indicate whether the focus will be on their similarities, on their differences, or both.
Thesis example using the amphora and horse sculpture -- Differences:
While they are both made from clay, the Greek amphora and the Tang Dynasty horse served completely different functions in their respective cultures.
Thesis example -- Similarities:
Ancient Greek and Tang Dynasty ceramics have more in common than most people realize.
Thesis example -- Both:
The Greek amphora and the Tang Dynasty horse were used in different ways in different parts of the world, but they have similarities that may not be apparent to the casual viewer.
Visualizing a Compare & Contrast Essay:
Introduction (1-2 paragraphs) .
- Creates interest in your essay
- Introduces the two art works that you will be comparing.
- States your thesis, which mentions the art works you are considering and may indicate whether the focus will be on similarities, differences, or both.
- Make and explain a point about the first subject and then about the second subject
- Example: While both superheroes fight crime, their motivation is vastly different. Superman is an idealist, who fights for justice …… while Batman is out for vengeance.
Conclusion (1-2 paragraphs)
- Provides a satisfying finish
- Leaves your reader with a strong final impression.
Downloadable Essay Guide
- How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay in Art History Downloadable version of the description on this LibGuide.
Questions to Ask Yourself After You Have Finished Your Essay
- Are all the important points of comparison or contrast included and explained in enough detail?
- Have you addressed all points that your professor specified in your assignment?
- Do you use transitions to connect your arguments so that your essay flows into a coherent whole, rather than just a random collection of statements?
- Do your arguments support your thesis statement?
- British National Gallery: Art Glossary Includes entries on artists, art movements, techniques, etc.
Lee College Writing Center
Writing Center tutors can help you with any writing assignment for any class from the time you receive the assignment instructions until you turn it in, including:
- Brainstorming ideas
- MLA / APA formats
- Grammar and paragraph unity
- Thesis statements
- Second set of eyes before turning in
Contact a tutor:
- Phone: 281-425-6534
- Email: w [email protected]
- Schedule a web appointment: https://lee.mywconline.com/
Other Compare / Contrast Writing Resources
- Southwestern University Guide for Writing About Art This easy to follow guide explains the basic of writing an art history paper.
- Purdue Online Writing Center: writing essays in art history Describes how to write an art history Compare and Contrast paper.
- Stanford University: a brief guide to writing in art history See page 24 of this document for an explanation of how to write a compare and contrast essay in art history.
- Duke University: writing about paintings Downloadable handout provides an overview of areas you should cover when you write about paintings, including a list of questions your essay should answer.
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- Last Updated: Jun 19, 2023 4:30 PM
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How to Write a Comparative Essay – A Research Guide
Published on: Jan 28, 2020
Last updated on: Dec 19, 2022
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A comparative essay compares the two subjects and shows their similarities and differences. The subjects might have some close relation or may be very different.
This essay type is a common assignment for school and college students. Therefore, it is important to learn how to write properly. In this blog, you will get a complete writing guide for comparative essay writing.
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What is a Comparative Essay?
A comparative essay is a type of essay in which an essay writer compares at least two or more items. The author compares two subjects with the same relation in terms of similarities and differences depending on the assignment.
The main purpose of the comparative essay is to:
- Highlight the similarities and differences in a systematic manner.
- Provide great clarity of the subject to the readers.
- Analyze two things and describe their advantages and drawbacks.
A comparative essay is also known as compare and contrast essay or a comparison essay. It analyzes two subjects by either comparing them, contrasting them, or both. The Venn diagram is the best tool for writing a paper about the comparison between two subjects.
Moreover, a comparative analysis essay discusses the similarities and differences of ideas, items, events, views, places, concepts, etc. For example, you can compare two different novels (e.g., The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Red Badge of Courage).
However, a comparative essay is not limited to specific topics. It covers almost every topic or subject with some relation.
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Comparative Essay Structure
A good comparative essay is also based on how well you structure your essay. It helps the reader to understand your essay better. Also, the structure is more important than what you write.
Therefore, it is necessary to organize your essay so that the reader can easily go through the comparisons made in an essay. The following are the two main methods in which you can organize your comparative essay.
1. Point-by-Point Method
The point-by-point or alternating method provides a detailed overview of the items that you are comparing. In this method, organize items in terms of similarities and differences.
This method makes the writing phase easy for the writer to handle two completely different essay subjects. It is highly recommended where some depth and detail are required.
Below given is the structure of the point-by-point method.
- Paragraph 1: Point 1 (Item A and B)
- Paragraph 2: Point 2 (Item A and B)
- Paragraph 3: Point 3 (Item A and B)
2. Block Method
The block method is the easiest as compared to the point-by-point method. In this method, you divide the information in terms of parameters. It means that the first paragraph compares the first subject and all their items, then the second one compares the second, and so on.
However, make sure that you write the subject in the same order. This method is best for lengthy essays and complicated subjects.
Here is the structure of the block method.
- Paragraph 1: Item A (Point 1, 2, and 3)
- Paragraph 2: Item B (Point 1, 2, and 3)
Therefore, keep these methods in mind and choose the one according to the chosen subject.
3. Mixed Paragraphs Method
In this method, one paragraph explains one aspect of the subject. As a writer, you will handle one point at a time and one by one. This method is quite beneficial as it allows you to give equal weightage to each subject and help the readers identify the point of comparison easily.
How to Start a Comparative Essay?
Here, we have gathered some steps that you should follow to start a well-written comparative essay.
1. Read the Instructions Carefully
Before starting, you have to analyze the question or essay prompt carefully. Sometimes, you have a great idea in your mind, but it does not match the prompt. Therefore, look over the prompt and create a list of the key phrases. Also, check whether any limits are placed on your topic.
2. Choose a Topic
The foremost step in writing a comparative essay is to choose a suitable topic. Choose a topic or theme that is interesting to write about and appeals to the reader. An interesting essay topic motivates the reader to know about the subject. Also, try to avoid complicated topics for your comparative essay.
3. Develop a List of Similarities and Differences
Create a list of similarities and differences between two subjects that you want to include in the essay. Moreover, this list helps you decide the basis of your comparison by constructing your initial plan. Evaluate the list and establish your argument and thesis statement.
4. Establish the Basis for Comparison
The basis for comparison is the ground for you to compare the subjects. In most cases, it is assigned to you, so check your assignment or prompt.
Furthermore, the main goal of the comparison essay is to inform the reader of something interesting. It means that your subject must be unique to make your argument interesting.
5. Do the Research
In this step, you have to gather information for your subject. If your comparative essay is about social issues, historical events, or science-related topics, you must do in-depth research.
However, make sure that you gather data from credible sources and cite them properly in the essay.
6. Create a Comparative Essay Thesis Statement
The thesis statement decides whether the similarities, on the whole, dominate the differences or vice versa. Your thesis statement will be clear and concise.
Therefore, develop the thesis statement that covers your entire essay. With the help of a thesis statement, you will easily stick to the essay’s main core.
How to Create a Comparative Essay Outline?
After writing the thesis statement, you will have to organize your content. The organization makes your essay structured and keeps you on the right path.
Here are some steps you do after creating the thesis statement. It will help you to organize and write a great comparative essay.
Write a proper comparative essay outline and include all the main information that you add to your essay. Here the structure of the outline is similar to the traditional essay outline. It consists of the following parts: introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Comparative Essay Introduction
The introduction is the first part of an essay that the readers see. Therefore, you have to think about the hook statement. It is a statement that you include at the beginning of the introductory paragraph to grab the reader’s attention.
Then, you can move to the main goal of the essay. Provide some background information and conclude the introduction with a thesis statement.
Comparative Essay Body Paragraphs
The body of an essay will give the reader everything that they want to know about the subject. Write all the information clearly and concisely.
The following are the tips that you need to follow for writing essay body paragraphs.
- The topic sentence is placed at the start of the essay.
- Each point of comparison is discussed in a separate paragraph.
- The essay body usually consists of three paragraphs, but it depends on your chosen subject.
- Use different transition words within and between the paragraphs.
- Each paragraph contains enough and meaningful information.
- The last sentences of the paragraph include a low-level conclusion.
Comparative Essay Conclusion
In this section, you need to restate the thesis statement and summarize the main points. Also, remind the reader why it is important to compare these two particular subjects. However, try to avoid writing any additional information in the conclusion of the essay .
Below is the detailed comparative essay template format for you to understand better.
Format of Comparative Essay
Once you are done with creating the outline and writing your essay, proofread and revise it properly. It is an important step to produce a good piece of writing. Never skip this step before submitting or publishing your essay.
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Comparative Essay Examples
Have a look at these comparative essay examples and get an idea of the perfect essay.
Comparative Essay on Summer and Winter - Example
Comparative Essay on Books vs. Movies - Example
Sample Comparative Essay
Thesis Example of Comparative Essay
Comparative Essay Topics
Comparative essay topics are not very difficult or complex. Check this list of essay topics and pick the one that you want to write about.
- How do education and employment compare?
- Living in a big city or staying in a village.
- The school principal or college dean.
- New Year vs. Christmas celebration.
- Dried Fruit vs. Fresh. Which is better?
- Similarities between philosophy and religion.
- British colonization and Spanish colonization.
- Nuclear power for peace or war?
- Bacteria or viruses.
- Fast food vs. homemade food.
Now, you get a complete writing guide for the comparative essay. However, if you need professional essay writing help, consult MyPerfectWords.com . Our legitimate essay writing service provides great services to students who face a difficulty writing a quality essay.
So, hire the best essay writer online and get the well-written essay on time without any mistakes.
Frequently Asked Question
How long is a comparative essay.
A comparative essay is 4-5 pages long, but it depends on your chosen idea and topic.
How do you end a comparative essay?
Here are some tips that will help you to end the comparative essay.
- Restate the thesis statement
- Wrap up the entire essay
- Highlight the main points
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Home — Essay Samples — Arts & Culture — Pablo Picasso — Comparative analysis in art: Pablo Picasso And Henry Moore
Comparative Analysis in Art: Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore
- Categories: Art History Comparative Analysis Pablo Picasso
About this sample
Words: 2436 |
13 min read
Published: Jun 16, 2021
Words: 2436 | Pages: 5 | 13 min read
In this essay, we have explored two distinct artworks, Henry Moore's "Woman Seated in the Underground" and Pablo Picasso's "Bullfight Scene," each offering unique perspectives on their subjects. Both artists demonstrate that art can convey powerful emotions and truths without necessarily reproducing reality with true-to-life detail. They use their chosen mediums and compositions to offer their unique perspectives on the world, inviting viewers to interpret and engage with their works on a deeper level.
These two artists employ different visual languages and mediums to convey their messages. Picasso's rapid ink strokes and the use of watered-down ink create a sense of motion and depth in his depiction of the bullfight, while Moore's drawings rely on a network of nervous, scratchy lines and subdued watercolors to evoke the collective suffering of shelterers during wartime.
The interpretation of these works often requires a deeper understanding of the artists' intentions and backgrounds. Moore's Underground drawings, for example, were initially misinterpreted by the British public, who felt excluded from the Underground world he portrayed. Picasso's "Bullfight Scene" may be seen as a celebration of tradition or as a foreshadowing of the artist's later years, and the debate surrounding its themes is ongoing.
Table of contents
Art comparison essay outline, art comparison essay example, introduction.
- Introduction to the essay's focus on comparing Henry Moore's "Woman Seated in the Underground" and Pablo Picasso's "Bullfight Scene"
Picasso's "Bullfight Scene"
- Description of Picasso's artwork, including its medium, size, and subject matter
- Analysis of Picasso's emphasis on motion and form over fine detail
- Discussion of the use of ink and tonal variation to depict the bullfight
Moore's "Woman Seated in the Underground"
- Description of Moore's artwork, including its medium, size, and historical context during the Blitz
- Examination of the portrayal of a woman in the London Underground during wartime
- Analysis of the use of media, line, and body language to convey atmosphere and mood
Differences in Visual Languages
- Exploration of the distinct visual languages employed by Picasso and Moore
- Discussion of how their backgrounds and artistic approaches influenced their respective artworks
Interpreting the Artworks
- Argument against the necessity of true-to-life detail for successful portrayal
- Examination of how the public's interpretation of Moore's artwork differed from his intentions
- Analysis of the need for viewers to decode and understand the artist's "truth" in both artworks
Analysis of Pablo Picasso's "The Weeping Woman"
- Description of Picasso's artwork "The Weeping Woman"
- Analysis of its vibrant colors and distorted features
- Interpretation of the artwork's emotional and symbolic elements
- Summary of the comparisons and interpretations of both sets of artworks
- Reflection on the artists' abilities to convey emotions and meaning through their chosen mediums
- Final thoughts on the subjective nature of art interpretation
Analysis of Pablo Picasso’s Artwork “The Weeping Woman”
- Ashford, D. (2007). Henry Moore: Art and Life. Yale University Press.
- Carey, F. (1988). Henry Moore. Tate Gallery Publishing.
- Moore, H. (1988). A Shelter Sketchbook. Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd.
- Newton, E. (1945). Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1948. Thames and Hudson.
- Penrose, R., & Golding, J. (1981). Picasso: Sculptor/Painter. Museum of Modern Art.
- Phaidon. (2013). 10 Works of Art That Capture the Spirit of London. Phaidon Press.
- Picasso, P. (1960). Bullfight Scene. Ink on paper, 480 x 623 mm. Museu Picasso.
- Tate. (2004). Henry Moore: Woman Seated in the Underground. Tate Britain. Retrieved from https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/moore-woman-seated-in-the-underground-t03139
- Tate. (n.d.). Henry Moore 1898-1986. Tate Britain. Retrieved from https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/henry-moore-349
- Wood, P. (1999). The Challenge of the Avant-Garde. Yale University Press.
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Department of Art History
Comparativism in Art History
From the publisher :
Featuring some of the major voices in the world of art history, this volume explores the methodological aspects of comparison in the historiography of the discipline. The chapters assess the strengths and weaknesses of comparative practice in the history of art, and consider the larger issue of the place of comparative in how art history may develop in the future. The contributors represent a comprehensive range of period and geographic command from antiquity to modernity, from China and Islam to Europe, from various forms of art history to archaeology, anthropology and material culture studies. Art history is less a single discipline than a series of divergent scholarly fields – in very different historical, geographic and cultural contexts – but all with a visual emphasis on the close examination of objects. These fields focus on different, often incompatible temporal and cultural contexts, yet nonetheless they regard themselves as one coherent discipline – namely the history of art. There are substantive problems in how the sub-fields within the broad-brush generalization called 'art history' can speak coherently to each other. These are more urgent since the shift from an art history centered on the western tradition to one that is consciously global.
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For the Classroom
Romantic and Neo-classic Art Essay
The Neo-classic era and the Romantic era have always had distinct differences in terms of features and characteristics. From political, moral, heroic and artistic themes, the distinction between these eras is always outstanding (Brion, 2003). Neoclassicism always emphasizes on precision, order, intellect and a rational mind as major themes.
The main objective of neoclassicism is to achieve perfection in studying the human mind. The neoclassicism era was followed by the Romantic era that tends to oppose the neoclassic era (Palmer, 2011). Romantic era constantly focused on the forces of nature with an aim of sparking emotions and pleasure. This paper will highlight the differences between Watteau’s painting of the storm from the neoclassical era and Delacroix’s storm painting from the Romantic era.
The two paintings by Watteau and Delacroix depict storms in different ways due to the different styles employed by the artists. Watteau’s painting titled the storm exhibits features of a Neo-classical work whereas Delacroix’s Christ on the Sea of Galilee is of a romantic work (Palmer, 2011).
The characteristics within the two paintings show the difference that exists in the paintings in terms of style. Watteau’s painting has got some outstanding features associated with the Neo-classical era paintings. When the painting is observed closely, its profile is very clear especially people’s profile.
Due to the clarity of the profile, an observer is able to see minute details such as facial expressions even without feeling the actual emotions of the people as depicted by the artist (De Almeida, 2005). The personality of people in the paintings is somehow subdued despite the profound facial expression.
Neo-classicism era paintings are associated with enlightment and precision whereas Romantic era paintings are associated with highlighting the artist’s imagination meant to evoke the observer’s emotions (Cleaver, 1988). It is important to note these general differences before analyzing the paintings by the artists in order to bring out the differences. Watteau is known to prefer using the neoclassic style as opposed to Delacroix’s preferred Romantic style.
The painting titled Christ at the Sea of Galilee by Delacroix appears to bring out the aesthetic effect in the storm meant to spark emotions and pleasure to the audience (Rosenblum, 1970). The Romantic painting by Delacroix highlights nature as major source of truth and pleasure. The two painting represent a storm in opposing contexts in terms of emotions and time. Watteau’s painting is more objective compared to the subjective nature of Delacroix’s painting of the storm.
Watteau’s painting clearly highlights the actual time before the actual storm takes place. Although the painting is supposed to portray a storm and its dramatic effects, it focuses more on time and facial expressions as a way of suppressing emotions (Palmer, 2011).
Neoclassicism sees a rational mind as the ideal state and attempts to minimize emotions as much as possible. The colors used in this painting are dull and less lively but the feelings in the painting are somehow conceivable. The neo-classic painting by Watteau avoids a lot of drama and focuses more on employing rationality.
Comparing Watteau’s painting with Delacroix’s Christ on the Sea of Galilee, there is great difference in terms of style (Cleaver, 1988). Since Delacroix’s painting if of the Romantic era, the use of a dramatic style is clearly outstanding to the observer. Delacroix’s storm painting has got lively and vivid colors making the painting to appear inconceivable .
The vivid colors used are essential in bringing out the intense feelings and pleasure associated with Romantic era paintings. The difference in style of these two paintings gives the observer an opportunity to explore the artistic themes of the artists. Both painting are a wonderful spectacle to the observer and demonstrate how style in important in bringing out some features in a painting depending on the message the artist is trying to pass across (Cleaver, 1988).
The painting by Delacroix depicts the style of the Romantic era with full of emotions. The profile of this painting is not clear and makes it difficult to identify some features in the painting. Despite the lack of clarity in the painting’s profile, the storm depicted in this painting is very vicious with some emotional undertones (Cleaver, 1988). Despite the painting being blurred the storm seems so intense with the ability to spark some emotions in the observer. The images appear blurred like the ones in a dream.
In conclusion, there exist a number of differences between Romantic era and Neo-classical era paintings in terms of emotional representation. The Paintings by Watteau and Delacroix of a storm depict how a difference in style can bring out different features and emotions in a painting.
The Neo-classical era paintings are associated with clear image profiles with less emotional undertones. The Romantic era paintings as depicted in Delacroix’s painting are associated with blurred images with a lot of emotional undertones. The same painting can appear completely different because of the features introduced by a difference in style
Brion, M. (2003). Romantic art. New York, NY: Textbook Publishers.
Cleaver, D. (1988). Art: An introduction. New York, NY: Harcourt Braca Jovanovich.
De Almeida, H. (2005). Indian renaissance: British romantic art and the prospect of India. New York, NY: Ashgate Publishing.
Palmer, R. (2011). Historical dictionary of romantic art and architecture . New York, NY: Scarecrow Press.
Rosenblum, R. (1970). The transformation in late eighteenth century art. New York, NY: Princeton University Press.
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IvyPanda. (2018, October 12). Romantic and Neo-classic Art. https://ivypanda.com/essays/romantic-and-neo-classic-art/
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IvyPanda . "Romantic and Neo-classic Art." October 12, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/romantic-and-neo-classic-art/.
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How to Write a Compare-and-Contrast Essay
A compare-and-contrast essay is a style of essay that points out the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. It’s ideal for showing what separates and unites related things or concepts, particularly if the subjects are often confused for each other or unjustly lumped together.
Compare-and-contrast essays have a lot in common with other essay types, but differ in many ways, too—and that’s the heart of comparing and contrasting! By seeing the differences and similarities, the reader better understands each of the subjects by using the other subject as a frame of reference.
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In this guide, we explain how to write a compare-and-contrast essay, including some advanced tips and examples. We discuss how to structure your essay and how to frame your thesis , but first, let’s take a broader look at why comparison essays are so useful.
Purpose of a compare-and-contrast essay
Let’s say you want to write an essay about how great renewable resources are, but you spend a lot of your time explaining how fossil fuels work. To truly understand why renewable resources are so amazing, your reader needs a little background on their alternative, fossil fuels—but the essay’s attention is divided so equally that it’s like there are two topics.
That’s when compare-and-contrast essays function at their best. If two topics relate to each other or define each other, you can better explain them both by showcasing their similarities and differences. That goes double for topics that are often conflated or confused for each other; it helps readers when someone points out exactly what’s the same about them and what’s different.
Unlike argumentative essays or persuasive essays , compare-and-contrast essays deal with multiple topics instead of focusing on one. The downside is that they don’t describe the individual subjects as much as single-topic essays. They’re also a common assignment for college essays since they show the instructor how well you grasp both subjects.
How to write a compare-and-contrast essay
When writing a compare-and-contrast essay, it helps to figure out two things: what your thesis is (the subject matter) and how you plan to structure it.
First things first: You need to choose which subjects you’re comparing. This isn’t always easy, especially if you have to pick the subjects on your own.
For inspiration, here are some compare-and-contrast essay example topics:
- fossil fuels and renewable resources
- Coca-Cola and Pepsi
- Mona Lisa and The Girl with a Pearl Earring
- ’80s punk rock music and ’90s grunge music
- Dorothea Lange and Diane Arbus
- London in the 1600s and London now
- the LGBTQIA+ community before and after Stonewall
- Roman Empire and Greek Empire
- loop quantum gravity and string theory
- evolution and creationism
- liberalism and conservatism
- fascism and despotism
Once you’ve settled on your subjects, you can begin generating ideas. It helps to first list all the similarities and differences between your subjects . When you see them all written down, you can start formulating connections and decide what structure to use for your compare-and-contrast essay.
If you’re stuck, try making a Venn diagram . This is a visual aid that helps you understand which characteristics your subjects share, and which ones are exclusive.
Looking at your lists, you can then decide on the thesis. To do so, ask yourself a few questions: What are you trying to show in your compare-and-contrast essay? What do you want your reader to take away? For example, do you want to emphasize that Dorothea Lange’s work influenced Diane Arbus, or that they are two very distinct artists?
Compare-and-contrast essays follow our own recommended essay structure . While the linked guide goes into more detail, in a nutshell, your compare-and-contrast essay should follow a simple format of beginning, middle, and end:
- Introduction: where you explain your thesis or what your essay will discuss
- Body: where you actually list the similarities and differences of your subjects; the largest section
- Conclusion: where you wrap up and summarize your points
The introduction, usually one or two paragraphs, should include a thesis statement to show the reader what to expect for the rest of your essay. You can write your introduction following the same guidelines as other essay types, though be sure to mention all your subjects. Likewise, you can write an essay conclusion with the standard rules and best practices.
It’s the body where compare-and-contrast essays get tricky. Do you write about both subjects at the same time, or switch back and forth? Let’s talk deeper on this below.
How to structure a compare-and-contrast essay
The hardest part of structuring a compare-and-contrast essay is knowing when to talk about which subject. Essentially, you have three options:
- block method (subject by subject): You discuss one subject in full and then move on to the next subject.
- alternating method (point by point): You discuss one subject’s take on a certain aspect and then another subject’s take immediately afterward, followed by a new aspect.
- similarities and differences: You discuss all the similarities between your subjects and then all the differences, or vice versa (differences first and then similarities).
No matter which option you choose, you have to pay particular attention to topic sentences . Paragraphs in compare-and-contrast essays can get complicated, so it’s crucial to have a good topic or introduction sentence for each paragraph to make the flow of ideas clear.
Block method (subject by subject)
The block method is usually divided into paragraphs: a paragraph about one subject and then a new paragraph about another subject. Take the compare-and-contrast essay example When Nothing Lies Beyond the Mask: Comparing Moby Dick and The Raven . In the first paragraph after the introduction, the author talks only about Ahab from Moby Dick , but in the next paragraph talks only about the narrator from The Raven . Each subject gets its own paragraph.
Using the block method, you can go back and forth like this for pages, covering as many topics as you need. This approach is best for giving each subject its own attention but tends to slightly weaken the connection between the two.
Alternating method (point by point)
As another option, you can break paragraphs up by a specific topic and issue, and in each paragraph discuss both or all subjects. Let’s look at another compare-and-contrast essay example, The Reality of Science Fiction: Comparing Clarke to Cruise . Here, both subjects are discussed in the same paragraph, one right after another.
This approach works best when you want to emphasize the connection between your subjects, or lack thereof. In our example above, the author wishes to highlight just how different the aliens of Arthur Clarke are from those of other authors, particularly H. G. Wells. To emphasize this, the essay author juxtaposes the two points right next to each other in the same paragraph.
Similarities and differences
The third option is quite similar to the alternating approach, with each subject being discussed side by side in the same paragraph. However, the paragraphs aren’t divided by different topics, but instead by what the subjects have in common and what they don’t.
Take a look at the compare-and-contrast essay example Government by the People, for the People has Perished from the Earth , which compares the dystopias of George Orwell’s 1984 and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We . The first paragraph after the introduction discusses what the governments in the two books have in common, but the next paragraph explains how they differ.
This method works best if you want to focus on a particular similarity or difference between your subjects, or if you want to build up to a powerful conclusion or reveal at the end.
The writing process for compare-and-contrast essays
Want to know how to write a compare-and-contrast essay step by step? The writing process is the same as all essay writing, although adapted specifically for drawing comparisons:
1 Brainstorming — As mentioned above, brainstorming should involve listing all the similarities and difficulties; creating a Venn diagram is a useful method.
2 Preparation — Looking at your brainstorming lists, decide which structuring method would best get your point across: block, alternating, or similarities/differences.
3 Drafting — Here you write your rough draft ; this is the longest and toughest phase.
4 Revising — Does the structure you’ve chosen work? With the first draft finished, you can more easily identify any areas that need to be fixed, revised, or rewritten from scratch.
5 Proofreading — Finally, you want to make sure you corrected all the spelling and grammatical mistakes in your draft. With a writing assistant like Grammarly, this phase is a breeze.
If you want to learn more about this process, read our comprehensive guide on essay writing , which better explains the details.
Tips for writing compare-and-contrast essays
Beyond knowing the full process for crafting a compare-and-contrast essay, it helps to learn a few tips to ensure it shines.
Choose topics that are related
In other words, choose topics that have plenty in common, otherwise, your essay will be all contrasting and no comparing. Typically, subjects in compare-and-contrast essays share a strong connection, such as two people in the same profession or two products in the same category.
Without this unifying thread, the reader is left wondering, “What’s the point of comparing these two things?” Not only will it confound your audience, but you’ll also struggle more to come up with points when writing. Solve these problems before they start by smartly choosing your subjects at the beginning.
Write for clarity
Essays with only one subject can be confusing enough—imagine how complicated it gets with two or more subjects. One of the biggest obstacles with compare-and-contrast essays is communicating clearly so your reader knows which points relate to which subject, and what conclusion the entire essay is building toward.
But when you’re in the heat of a writing session, it can be difficult—and distracting—to stop and evaluate your work for clarity. Luckily, Grammarly offers suggestions to rewrite entire sentences in order to improve the clarity of your writing.
If the writing in your compare-and-contrast essay starts getting messy, Grammarly’s writing suggestions recommend alternative phrasings to clear things up. Just one click and your writing gets the professional editor treatment. Try Grammarly now and see how your writing improves.
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Understanding the Art of Effective Comparative Essay Writing with Examples
- August 26, 2020 August 26, 2020
Let us start with few of the questions that pop on the mind of a student about to write an essay. Do you know why referring to Comparative Essay examples before writing one is considered as a prudent move? How writing an impeccable comparative essay could take your academic performance to a whole new level? Have you ever thought that writing down a perfect comparative essay is way too confounding before reaching down here? Well, if you are nodding your head in yes, then you have landed at the right place!
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The Art of Writing Down Comparative Essays
The comparative method of essay writing is a form of essay writing in which you measure the subjects or render inferences on the grounds of their similarities, or differences or both. If we speak from the fundamental viewpoint, these types of essays are written with the structure of a few paragraphs targeting the difference or equivalence between the topics discussed.
It is essential to know a comparative essay precisely before attempting to write one. Fundamentally, these essays are the structure of a few paragraphs that targets explaining how two things or topics are equivalent to or different from one another. The best part of these essays is that they can be composed on any subject on Earth. What is considered is the fact that the subjects ought to have some connection with one another. The process is entirely different from writing down a critical essay. How? Learn more at how to write critical essay on literature .
When you look at a powerful comparative essay, then you will find that the reader can have a pristine clarity of the nature and properties of the components that have been analysed. There would be a concrete evidence and reasoning to settle the ruling on either side.
Why Comparative Essays Play an Important Role?
A comparative essay work always helps you in settling with a specific side in contention. It will help you in bringing out the similarities and the differences amidst the choices, which eventually clarify the actual stakes at play. For instance, one can fetch the distinction or similarities between any of the following sets –
- Christianity v/s Marxism
- American GDP v/s Australian GDP
- The Democratic Party v/s The Republican Party
- Creationism v/s The Big Bang
- The Right-Wing Ideology v/s The Left-Wing Ideology
A systematic distinction or similarity is drawn based on research, and evidences. In addition to that, the personal inclination of the researcher also influences the findings. For example, it is up to you whether you wish to become a progressive or a reformist. It is directly or indirectly going to influence your future inferences.
Recognizing the Basic Premise for Comparison
While writing an essay, it is essential to build a premise for comparison. Generally, it is the question that has been asked in the essay which builds the premise. If it is not a direct essay question , then it could be revolving around two philosophies.
Building Up the Content
Here, you are required to enlist the approaches by the flow of the topics. The objective of the list is accessed with the goal of the essay, and the spotlight is predominantly on the connected points. It will help you to decide which content is required to be kept and which segment could be omitted.
Think of a Thesis
It is always advisable to think in advance about your inclination for the topic. It is imperative to learn in advance whether your focus is going to be on the similarities, the differences or both. What is your key objective of developing the thesis? The navigation of the content can be set accordingly once you reach on a judgment.
Building Up the Format
Essays can be written in different formats, but the sole purpose of all these essay formats is to help the reader to effectively trail the comparisons made in these essays. Some of the principle strategies on the grounds of which one can create a comparative essay include –
It is a form of strategy, where a section of comparison is taken complete care of within a single paragraph. It simply denotes the fact that a complete paragraph is utilized to explain one factor of comparison with respect to the primary topic. At this point, the paragraph is trailed by another paragraph unequivocally elaborating a similar angle but manages the next topic. Here, both first and second paragraph emphasize on the same segment of the comparison. The method manages both the topics on individual basis. The same pattern is followed with the third and fourth paragraphs respectively; but focusing and managing another perspective. The same pattern is followed till the concluding part of the essay.
One such form of essay is helpful in comparing two distinct topics. It is helpful in producing incorporated and dissected paper. It is widely used in the situations where it is necessary to display a point to point comparison. It also focuses on the point where the comparison elements are not related to each other.
Blended Paragraphs Strategy
The strategy deals with how the topics think regarding the dependency on one angle. It gives equal loads to all the topics as far as the comparison is concerned and the strategy is primarily implemented in the management of a long comparative essays . The key usage comes while managing the complex issues requiring close consideration.
The method is easy yet equally risky too. Here, the essay is divided into two different parts, with one comparing the components of the initial segment, while the subsequent part deals only with the topic two. The key challenge with this method is the fact that you are required to make sure that the order of the first segment is cautiously followed.
The method is useful while writing down short-form essays and simultaneously managing many topics. When you are required to manufacture the concept of the topic two from the ones featured for the topic one.
The Structuring of a Comparative Essay: Step-by-Step Instructions
The process of building the content of a comparative essay is not that difficult if you know the basics. Yes, the basics of the essay body would revolve around the introduction, the body, and the conclusion only. It is like writing down a standard essay only, but what you include in it as content matters a lot.
It is the introductory paragraph that delivers a brief overview of the essay to the reader. It is the attempt to immense the reader in the content and to develop his or her interest in a simultaneous manner. It ought to be lucrative in terms of reading yet stuck with basics and clear understanding. Likewise, there must be a proposition statement denoting the key reason for writing down the whole essay without directly jumping onto the conclusion.
These paragraphs start right after the introductory part and exist till penultimate section of the essay right before the conclusion. These paragraphs generally contain the subheadings acquainting the reader with the information in the respective paragraph. It is noteworthy that the conversation of the perspective is executed in the middle part of the paragraph and the last part delivers a low-level conclusion regarding the angle evaluated within the paragraph. Each paragraph ought to contain factual data on the information dealt with, featuring solitary perspective with evidence in the form of figure, examples, etc. backing it up.
The conclusion delivers the summation of the whole essay. It is utterly based on the paragraph body of the essay and inferred based on the similarities or the differences discussed, and not personal inclinations.
If you are facing issues while dealing with your frequent essay homework , then it is suggestive to get benefited by the services of professional essay assignment writing services online . They will help you in eluding blunders and finish the task right from preparation of the research material to the submission of full-proof final work prior to the deadline. They even help in essay writing in respect to the country specific request, to write it down as per the university guidelines there. Wish to see a sample of how country specific paid essay writing works? Visit how to write critical essay on literature to learn more!
A Comparative Essay Writing Example
To critically evaluate the impact of powerful essay writing , let us look at an example of comparative essay writing down below –
There are some of financial and political belief systems that have been received by various nations. Most of these nations represent capitalism and socialism. Irrespective of the fact that both these belief systems feature irreparable differences, with only a few similarities with one another. Here, in this paper, we are going to focus on various similarities and dissimilarities among the two.
When we look at it from the viewpoint of similarity, then we would find that both capitalism and socialism function in a popularity driven government. For capitalism, it is a law-based government permitting individuals to demand methods for building and utilizing the equivalent in making the riches. When it is about socialism, a majority-rule government takes into consideration an equivalent distribution of all the riches as well as all the components recognized with riches creation.
Additionally, both the political belief systems are subject to government intercession. In terms of capitalism, the scope of mediation from the government is constrained and it is the responsibility of the state to plan out certain guidelines and principles to control certain practices. For instance, the abuse of power and monopolistic endeavors. When we speak from the socialism viewpoint, then we will find that the framework is primarily under the control of the government. It is the accountability of the government to entrust the subjects with the guarantee that all the elements of the creation have been distributed effectively.
When we look at a socialist society, the approach to creation is exclusively under the forethought of the society. It is within a socialist society, that the society settles over the measure of creation to decide the cost of identical items. However, in the capitalist society, the subject is responsible for the sum he or she requires to deliver along with the cost related to charge.
Some of the Best Practices and Tips
While writing a good comparative essay, you are required to take into address the following concerns –
- Your Selection of Things: The things that you choose for a comparative essay ought to be chosen deliberately. There must be certain equivalent “class” of things to make the elements comparative in the essay. Additionally, if there are things which are prone to excessive comparison and are visible to the naked eyes of a layman reader, then there is no point in doing the comparison.
- Selecting the Right Parameters for Comparison: Your essay should never focus on the comparison of all sorts of things except the two things your comparison ought to be based on. Decide in advance, which parameters will be powerful, what results or inferences you are probable to achieve, and what sort of insights you are expected to build about the things?
- Use the Models and Tools in a Practical Manner: There are various models and tools that can be applied to conceptualize a comparative essay. The application of Venn graph is one of the popular devices, along with a rational use of diagrams, tables, rubrics, etc. With the help of these tools and models, you can not only make an effective comparison, but also re-evaluate your selection of the parameters.
- Choose a Hierarchical Arrangement, then Stick to it: Always stick to your chosen design, and do not bounce around. If you confound the reader with different hierarchical arrangements, then stakes are high that your essay would lose the essence or impact.
- Never Hesitate to Ask for Help: Well, when your marks, performance and reputation in class is at stake, then there is nothing wrong in seeking external help. Here, we are not talking about your peer group or online friends, rather professional paid essay writing help from the experts . There are legit and authorized essay homework writing agencies offering homework help to students as well as for working professionals related to different fields.
Thoughtful Minds is the pioneer essay writing service agency in India offering the academic writing services of the highest standards at the most pocket-friendly prices for both students and corporate. Our assignment help channels are open 24×7×365 and our services feature 500+ in-house essay writers ready to help you with A-Z comparative analysis essay topics .
So, order for your online homework help now at essay writing and experience the essay from the industry pros of the paramount standards.
What's the Difference Between Modern and Contemporary Art?
Asking the elusive question.
By Google Arts & Culture
Landscape with Church (Landscape with Red Spots I) (1913) by Wassily Kandinsky Museum Folkwang
Modern, contemporary. Contemporary, modern. These terms are often used interchangeably. So is there actually any difference between them? And if so, why? One answer is simple: time. Modern art came before contemporary art. Most art historians and critics put the beginning of modern art in the West at around the 1860s, continuing up to the 1960s. Whereas, contemporary art means art made in the present day. But it can be hard to define what the ‘present day’ really means. Is that art made by living artists? Art made in our lifetimes? Or is it artists making work that references or engages with the culture of the present day? Perhaps even artwork made in a way that defines what the ‘present day’ is? So, the start date of contemporary art is, perhaps paradoxically, most often set back in the 1960s and 70s.
Musée d'Orsay, accrochage salle Van gogh (2012) by Musée d'Orsay, display in the Van Gogh room Musée d’Orsay, Paris
But as well as time difference, there are also other differences—in method, medium, and approach. And when we talk about modern and contemporary art, we’re also talking about lots of different movements and forms, from Post-Impressionism, to Dada, to Pop Art, to Installation Art.
Luncheon on the Grass (1863) by Edouard Manet Musée d’Orsay, Paris
So first let’s take a look at modern art . When we see Monet printed on tea towels and Cézanne on the cover of biscuit tins, it can be hard to imagine how radical and shocking this style of painting was in its day. Modern art and ‘modernism’ was a radical departure from the kinds of art that had gone before; its rejection of traditional perspective and subject matter was especially innovative.
Many art historians say that Édouard Manet was the first ‘modern’ artist—specifically his painting from 1863, Luncheon on the Grass . This is because the piece didn’t try to portray the scene in a way that looked ‘real’ and three dimensional. Manet’s figures look like they sit on top of one another; the woman bathing in a stream almost seems to be hovering over the other characters, as though she could fall off her perch and land in their laps at any moment. Manet was also criticized for the lack of shading between the light and dark areas of the picture and for the 'lowly' subject matter of his painting.
Window Opening on Nice (1928) by DUFY, Raoul Shimane Art Museum
This movement away from attempts to accurately represent the outside world ushered in a new era of art, which encompassed Impressionism , Post-Impressionism , Japonism , Fauvism , Cubism , Futurism , and Expressionism .
So how did we get from here, to contemporary art, with its piles of bricks and $10,000 'non-visible' artworks ? A kind of mini-turning point in the transition between modern and contemporary art came with the movement known as ' abstract expressionism ’, as this ushered in a movement away from the content of the picture, and towards a focus on the process of making the artwork itself. Take Jackson Pollock; his artworks were as much about the act of dripping paint and moving around the canvas, cigarette in mouth , as it was about the finished product per se. This movement was a small stepping stone on the road towards what we now think of as contemporary art.
Jackson Pollock by Hans Namuth Sound and Music
Wirtschaftswert Speisekuchen (1977/1977) by Joseph Beuys MUSEION
The sea-change came in the 1960s and 70s, with a revolution in the way we make, and think about, art. Much modernist art, including abstract expressionism, took itself very seriously, privileging the 'genius' of the artist. Pop art , minimalism , conceptual art , and performance art, however, turned this on its head, making artwork that looked at modernism's preconceptions about art with a wry smirk. Instead of beauty and form, artists were often now more interested in the concept behind the artwork, so art now took on lots of different forms—video, performance, installation—and often lived outside of galleries or traditional art spaces altogether.
Will Britain get through this recession (1992/1993) by Gillian Wearing British Council
An important part of contemporary art isn’t held in the brushstrokes of paint, or the marble of a sculpture; it isn’t even in the artwork at all, rather, it’s the viewer's impression of the artwork. Contemporary artworks often focus on the effect on, and experience of, an artwork’s viewer. To many critics and art theorists, we make the artwork what it is. In some cases, the artwork is only made up of the people who experience it, as with many performance and social action projects.
Jeremy Deller, Valerie's Snack Bar (2008) Hayward Gallery
A question that so often gets leveled at contemporary art is usually something along the lines of, “but is it art though?’ or, “my four-year-old could do that”. But, funnily enough, this shows that contemporary artists are doing their jobs properly. How? Because a lot of contemporary art is interrogating our conception of ‘aesthetics’. Aesthetics is the philosophical enquiry into what makes something art. So when we look at a pile of bricks, or a urinal in an art gallery, the artists are actually trying to make us question whether or not their work is art, and if it is, what makes it so.
Tomorrow (2013) UCCA Center for Contemporary Art
Contemporary art is often an experiment in pushing boundaries and asking questions about what art is and can be. So when you say, ‘is it art though?’, that’s exactly the kind of question the artist wants you to ask. Learn more about: - Modern art
Phyllis tate: a quiet maverick, sound and music, henri matisse 1869-1954: a retrospective exhibition, hayward gallery, folk archive, british council, from station to the renovated musée d'orsay, musée d’orsay, paris, scenes in and around kyoto, shimane art museum, collecting for tomorrow, new directions: li ming, ucca center for contemporary art, vincent van gogh up close, northern innovation and the british music collection, anthony caro, fashion utopias: international fashion showcase 2016, collection of shimane art museum, museion #10yearson, peter wayne lewis & frederick j. brown.
Comparative Analysis of Works of Art
Choosing from the marvelous diversity the top stone of the world art is a rather difficult task. As far as music is concerned, it is the most mysterious form of art. Pitch, timbre, the strength of tone and quantity are the peculiar features of tone and powerful expressive music means as well. According to London, “There is a growing body of work in the philosophy of music and musical aesthetics that has considered the various ways that music can be meaningful: music as representational (that is, musical depictions of persons, places, processes, or events); musical as quasi-linguistic reference (as when a musical figure underscores the presence of a character in a film or opera), and most especially, music as emotionally expressive” (London).
Music has no strict stratification rules. History of music represents itself as something isolated. Though, as any result of the creative activity of a man it is reasonable, especially in terms of its socio-historical background. It is on the one hand. On the other hand, music is phenomenal with respect to the ability of art form to abstract away from diseases of society and from all spheres of life without being aloof from them and the essence of life, though. There were few watershed moments, connected with the names of the music luminaries. Generally, Johan Sebastian Bach is considered to be the person who led musical art to the whole new level. Thanks to him, lots of new musical genres appeared. The reason was the transition from church music to secular one.
Music varies in form but has very little difference in its content. The point of our interest is historical periodization and its illustration in art, as well as the way epochs, manifested themselves in peculiar areas of art. While speaking about Romanticism, it is important to admit that music has expressed the ideals of the epoch most vividly. “Classical composers had tried to create a balance between expression and formal structure; Romantic composers altered this balance by applying more freedom to the form and structure of their music, and using deeper, more intense expressions of moods, feelings and emotions” (“Romanticism (Music)”). This meant deviation from traditional canons of classical music. “With the emphasis on imagination and vision, the formal structure was stretched to accommodate a wider range of keys and sudden changes between them, and dynamic and instrumental timbers were also used.” (“Romanticism (Music)”).
Harmony, freely dissonance and modulation were of great importance. Synthesis of immense knowledge and impressive intellect were distinctive features of people of art at that time. “Composers were often widely read and were inspired by poems, novels, plays and paintings”. Goethe’s masterpiece “Der Erlkönig” and Schubert’s eponymous oeuvre, as well as the tragedy by Goethe “Egmont” and drama music by Beethoven are bright examples.
It is necessary to admit that band and choral music were developing rapidly at that time. Orchestras replenished with new instruments. Vocal abilities were the powerful ally in creating special effects upon the listener. So, in both cases music developed rapidly and the sound was deep and lush. Gorgeous scale deprived the general image of any penumbra, while the switch between shadow and light was rather contrasting. Having though much in common, behind the music there were strong persons of its creators.
Something different happened to impressionistic music and music full of symbolism. While speaking about impressionism in music, one should keep in mind the representatives of the style – Erik Satie, Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy. “The Impressionist composers had two favorite mediums: the orchestra (because of its variety of color) and the piano (because its damper pedal permitted vibrating harmonies to “suspend in mid-air”)” (“Music History – The Impressionistic Period (1870-1920)”).
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By all means, impressionism is a vague art. Impressionism in music was a sort of reaction against maximalism – dichotomous thinking of Romanticism. On the other hand, music at that time became more autonomous, sustainable, all-sufficient, so to say, in order to remove oneself from the visual arts. “There was little room in Impressionism for the “heaven-storming” climaxes of Romanticism. Instead, there is a veiling of sonority and delicate texture.” (“Music History – The Impressionistic Period (1870-1920)”). It featured modal influences, i.e. using the primary intervals (fourths, fifths and octaves) in parallel motion, whole-tone and pentatonic scale, harmony, and escaped chords, i.e. the effect of transition of the melody to another tonality through the chords without no preparation and solving (“Music History – The Impressionistic Period (1870-1920)”).
Claude Debussy’s La mere, Trois Esquisses Symphoniques (The Sea, Three Symphonic Scetches for Orchestra) is something like a bright and fascinating watercolor, depicting snowmelt and ice drift on a windy partly cloudy day. String and brass sections sound in the upper case with few modulations. Though cold colors prevail, peeks of sunshine appear suddenly, one can almost fill the wind blowing around. That is the magic of an orchestra.
So began the twentieth century with its Modern and Post-Modern. “The transition from nineteenth-century Romanticism to twentieth-century “Modernism” is, perhaps, as violent an upheaval as was the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque” (“The Modern or Twentieth Century (1900 – )”). Drastic political and economic changes, the arms race, conflicts, and frenzied rhythm made art completely different. Counterpoint, chord patterns, poly- and atonality, tone-row technique, polyrhythms, dissonance, humor, variation principle, short themes, sound clusters, humor and satire – all these and many others formed the basic set of features of the music of the 20th century (“The Modern or Twentieth Century (1900 – )”).
George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue appeared, which was the first and the only phenomenon of its kind with its classical form and jazz sound. Remarkable exposition, development and reprise are characteristic of the piece. Other features include the nameable melody of the motive; bright, dense colors, as well as impetuosity of the theme, and vivid development of the theme in each instrument. Initially, Gershwin had created experimental rhapsody for the piano and a jazz-band, though in years that followed several orchestral versions of his work were made. In 1935, Porgy and Bess – an “American folk opera” – was performed (composed by George Gershwin, libretto by DuBose Heyward, lyrics by Heyward and Ira Gershwin), the masterpiece is known for its song Summertime. What is peculiar about this music is that, actually, almost each creation by Gershwin brothers is narrative. Actually, that is peculiar about the whole world of art in XX century. But this is already a key-note of philosophy of art.
Any expressive mean, being it either a word or a special habit, is an expressive tool “in the hands” of creator. Tough the less is being made to prevent art from becoming a tool. Any art is the action of human mind and soul, expressed by the variety of means. The world is changing and life is going faster and faster. Today it is impossible to escape from noise and airwaves, so people spend less time on perceiving beauty. No time to stop, no time to calm down and listen. Hardly anyone cares that few honorable masters of music create nowadays, while men of genius in music have almost gone. Hardly anyone cares about chef-d’oeuvres. “Beauty is in the eye of beholder” – an ancient saying goes. Although people got used to express themselves with its help nowadays, art is neither a weapon nor a fake, but the primordial beauty and clarity. Still people do need to remember the good and the beauty and find a song of their own.
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