Oil Painting

Format: 4-5 pages double-space, roughly 1250-1500 words

Choose 1 of the two options below.

Option 1: Oil Painting, Photography, Reality

How do oil painting and photography as mediums compare in terms of their ability to represent the real? In what specific ways is each medium technically effective but also ethically problematic in their promise to give us reality? Write an essay that answers these questions, citing John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, Roland Barthes’s “Rhetoric of the Image,” and at least one (1) additional text of your choice from the required readings.

A successful essay will:
-Demonstrate both similarities and differences between oil painting and photography in terms of effectiveness and problematic nature
-Interpret accurately (not just cite) the arguments by Berger, Barthes and other authors while putting their ideas in dialogue (imagine them as people having a conversation around a table)

Option 2: Venus High and Low

How do art (high) and mass culture (low) compare in respect to their representation of femininity? What types of female image are common in high versus low registers of visual culture? Are there differences but also continuities between them? What moral responses have these images generated historically on the part of the public? Write an essay that answers these questions, citing John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, and at least one (1) additional text of your choice from the required readings.

A successful essay will:
-Demonstrate both similarities and differences between high and low registers of visual culture in terms of representation of the female
-Interpret accurately (not just cite) the arguments by Berger, Solomon-Godeau and other authors while putting their ideas in dialogue (imagine them as people having a conversation around a table)