Assignment four

As with the previous assignments, I have made the assignment as a pdf document which can be downloaded here: Assignment 4 PDF submission.

The assignment includes.

  • Four & ½ pages of notes (for three chapters in WHA, 18th-20th century)
  • Two annotations of paintings & direct references
  • One 600 word analysis & direct references
  • General References for assignment 4

As per Assignment 3 feedback I’ve added extra references sections for the direct references used in each bit of the Assignment, it seems a bit overkill to me but if that’s the preferred format then hopefully I have it right this time.


On the run up to creating assignment 4, again I re-read the feedback from previous assignments because that seemed to help with assignment 3.

On the assignment 3 feedback there were a few rework tasks to do, which I’m going to do next (since I was again running behind on my part 4 work with my daughter running me ragged). I did start to review the suggestions provided and have a new tag for those posts: Assignment 3 feedback

I followed the same advice as A3 as far as I could, In general avoid over-reliance on websites and I need to “Engage with more broadly ‘theoretical’ texts so as to deepen your research and expand your comments” using a wide variety of source materials. “Compare and contrast information and evaluate others’ arguments.”. The library books I ordered for specific parts of this section took forever to come in so I found this quite difficult this time, meaning my studied were a bit disjointed as I kept having to put bits aside to wait for another book. One of the comments was to synthesise different art historians’ interpretations. I found this useful especially this time for both the annotations and the analysis. I really enjoyed reading the John Berger essays and I hope to get some time to read some more of them.

Again, for all parts of the assignment I did preparation blogposts which allowed me to get my notes out of my system so i could broadly keep within the word limits. For the WHA notes tried to put a bit of reflection on each of the posts too, I seemingly regressed with my tendency to over note-take but I’m working on it with reading goals as suggested, however my goals this time were to include enough info in my initial notes that i could pull bits out to expand upon re the following A3 feedback: Using a separate set of responses on the blog to “develop short sections of analysis (examine how key components in each chapter fit together and relate to each other), comparison (explore the similarities and differences between the ideas you are reading about), and synthesis (bring together references to different sources or viewpoints)”. My intention was to do a separate bit of analysis on each of the major themes and go off to other books I was reading (such as the Berger essays) and expand on the points in the WHA. The only bit where i was actually able to do this was the Landscape/Industrial Revolution post which I did as direct preparation for the assignment.

Speaking of the analysis part, on reflection, the task calls for A 500-word analysis of a maximum of four paintings or sculptures, which demonstrate the influence of political, social and economic changes on either the portrayal of the city. And i think covered that in my blogpost but i might be close to the edge of skirting the point on the actual analysis because what i wanted to write about was the effect of the industrial revolution on landscape painting, so the pictures i choose don’t all portray the city.

Similarly, with the chose of work annotation & comparison. Since i wanted to do industrial revolution for the 500 words, I wanted something that would reflect the impact of imperialism to annotation, but also something which was a recent event. I hadn’t decided between The Raft of the Medusa and the Goya for the recent event so I hedged my bets and did Goya first, thinking that it is both a contemporary event AND shows the (negative) impact of imperialism. My other thought was to do Napoleon Bonaparte Visiting the Pest House in Jaffa by Gros as the imperialist work. Cursory comparison notes I wrote down to compare it with Goya’s 3rd May was as follows:

  • Use of Christian imagry
  • Propaganda vs truth
  • Pro vs anti war
  • Exotic vs local
  • Differnt viewpoints of the French army
  • Precursor to romantic movement
  • Heroic suffering

but ultimately I found the idea of comparing the raft more compelling.

As discussed with my tutor, I’ve appropriated the original section 3 visit to a country house for this parts visit to a country house. I’ll find another place to visit for section 3 (or do it from internet perhaps as it says in the course notes). With its Neo-classical and Rococo features Hylands House definitely belongs in Part 4.

Overall reflection against the Assessment Criteria:

  • Demonstration of subject-based knowledge and understanding – again there was a lot of reading in this section, and also I tried to use a few more books for the assignment research (as per feedback from assignment 1, 2 & 3). I think I have demonstrated my understanding of the area in this assignment according to the research I have done (see above).
  • Demonstration of research skills – Where possible I tried to go and see the work I was researching in person, but also evaluated the sources I was looking at in books and on the internet for their scholarly worth.
  • Demonstration of critical and evaluation skills – I tried to engage with the concepts throughout part three within each of the exercises that I actually completed, I knew I was running short on time so I skipped ahead to the assignment and have yet to do most of the exercises. I did better on sticking to the word count in the assignment analysis this time, putting all my long-winded thoughts and research into ancillary blogposts on my learning log. Also, I found the OU format that my tutor recommended for comparing works allowed me to review the works in my own words before diving into the research parts.
  • Communication – I think my ideas and points are written clearly. I try to reflect on bits as I go along since the assessor cannot be inside my head. I suspect the they won’t have the time to wade through every blogpost though.

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