The Slide Comparison is a key method of both testing your factual comprehension of the course material and challenging your critical thinking abilities. In practice, the comparison is run in this way:
- You will be shown two slides on the screen--these are also called "paired slides." They wll be shown for 5 minutes.
- These will be works of art that we've seen and discussed in class. However, you may not have seen these two works paired before the quiz.
- The two slides will always have something substantial in common. Substantial means something deeper than, for example, "Both slides show paintings" or "The painting on the left has lots of green in it, while the painting on the right has lots of red in it", to name two classic, but wrong responses from students early in previous servings of this course.
- You will need to give the name of the artist (if known), the title or subject, the bracket date, the location if you are shown a building or an artistic installation intended as a permanent installation or that is too big to pick up and carry away.
- Finally, and this is the most important part: You will write a short essay--about three full sentences--about the comparison. You need to tell me what elements of the work of art are being compared (probably the first sentence); why they are being compared (maybe the second sentence); and then, as a small grand finale, something else--maybe something about the artistic context, how one or both of the works relate to the artists' (or artist's) other work--your choice, as long as it works.
- How to do this: Always take a few moments to think over what you want to say. Note that in terms of the mini-essay there is often more than one relevant observation that can be made. Pick the one you think is best, and then write it out. If you can't quite remember all of the factual information ("Oh, it looks so familiar!") skip down a few lines and start to work on the mini-essay. That should jog your memory, or calm your nerves, whichever comes first.
- Quiz Dates: Please check the Schedule Page for the course in which you are enrolled. You must take the quiz for the section of the class you are in.
A Sample Slide Comparison
Here is a sample slide comparison (this will look familiar to some people) that might be helpful in organizing your own.
Shown Left Shown Right Artist: Leonardo da Vinci Artist: Ghirlandaio Title/Subject: Mona Lisa Title/Subject: A Young Woman Date: High Renaissance Date: Early Renaissance
Essay: "These paintings are being compared because they are both portraits of young women. Ghirlandaio's portrait shows a traditional representation of a woman as the new wife of the groom: she is shown in profile, decorated with the family jewelry and surrounded by objects that relate to her virtues. Mona Lisa is Leonardo's revolutionary interpretation of this standard type: she turns to look at us, isolated and mysterious against a landscape that stretches to the horizon and the end of the world."
Here is another Sample Comparison
Shown Left Shown Right Artist: Michelangelo Artist: Michelangelo Title/Subject: David Title/Subject: The Bound Slave Date: High Renaissance Date: High Renaissance
Essay: "Both of these over life-size statues of nude men are by Michelangelo. Each was designed for a monumental project that was never completed: the David for one of the buttresses of the Cathedral of Florence, and the Bound Slave for the tomb of Pope Julius II. [You could finish with a reference to the style and treatment of the statues: contropposto, references to ancient art; or finished vs. unfinished.] Back to the List of Monuments Back to the Art History Index Page