Writing Question

Learning Goal: I’m working on a writing multi-part question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

Read the chapters “Formal Analysis” AND !!pages 128-139 of “How to Write art history exams” by D’Alleva.

Then select one of the following pairs of works, each were discussed in this module’s lectures. In a 550-700 word paper, compare the two works of art. What similarities and differences do you notice? What is at the root of these similarities? How do their cultural contexts explain their differences? Focus on what you can see in the image and draw on information from lecture and readings.

Select one pair, and respond to its individual prompt. When developing your analysis, do not do outside research, instead focus on what you can see in the objects and support it with specific details in the object and our lecture/reading content.


  • Focus on the formal qualities of the two works of art, compare these formal qualities in your notes.
  • After having compared the formal elements, consider the social and historical contexts behind both of the works.
  • Do not do outside research

Pair 1: Compare these two palace chapels. Discuss how the architecture supports their corresponding royal powers.

Sainte-Chapelle, 1238-1248

Auchen palace chapel, 9th century

Pair 2:

Chartres north portal tympanum sculpture, 1145-1155

Sainte-Foy of Conque tympanum, 1130

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