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Free Visual Arts Essay Examples & Topics

Free Visual Arts Essay Examples & Topics

Visual arts are the works of art we see with our eyes. It is a broad definition that includes a large number of disciplines and elements. From Wassily Kandinsky to Jackson Pollock, from sculptures and paintings to filmmaking and interior design – the term covers it all.

If you are writing an essay about visual arts, the chances are that you will find yourself a bit lost for words. After all, the subject matter may seem contradictory to the task at hand. However, there is no need to panic.

In this article, our experts have outlined the best way to write your very own visual arts essay step-by-step. You will see that your academic paper can be a work of art in itself. We have also included 19 outstanding visual arts essay topics from which you can choose.

Even a brief essay about visual arts can be overwhelming. It’s usually the case when you don’t know where to begin and how to organize your thoughts. That’s why creating an outline is so crucial. In this section, we have listed what can help you in writing your visual arts essay.

Try following these steps:

  1. Choose your topic. Of course, it’s the most critical step for your paper. The idea you pick should be narrow enough for a detailed analysis. Yet, it should not prevent you from doing extensive research. Try browsing through visual arts essay collections. For example, check Bending Concepts by Walter Benn Michaels et al. There, you can get ideas on what to write about.
  2. Finding relevant art. Unsurprisingly, essays on visual arts require you to interact with the artwork. To offer proper art critique, you might want to conduct a visual analysis of your subject. Besides, it is a great idea to look into art history surrounding your topic. Figure out the context of the work and incorporate it into your paper.
  3. Brainstorming. Jotting down all your feelings and ideas can be an excellent exercise. Everything that you think on the topic may come in handy. So, write down your thoughts about the style and technique of the artist, what message the work is trying to send, etc. When you’re done, make sure to look at your assessment criteria. Compare them to what you have thought of so far.
  4. Grouping information. Here is where you might want to begin thinking of a thesis statement. Begin by grouping all the information you’ve gathered so far by themes. These will later become the foundation for the outline. Sort through all your findings and decide what ideas fit well with your topic. With this in mind, write down an excellent thesis by formulating your message in one sentence. Or our thesis generator can do that for you!
  5. Writing the outline. Now that everything is organized, create a structure of your paper using your ideas and thesis. Begin by making an introduction to visual arts. Explain what you will be talking about in your essay. Your research and formal analysis go into the main body. Finally, your final reflection about visual arts should be left for the conclusion. This is where you get to sum up your interpretation of the work and what you see in it.
  6. Browse through samples. Before you begin your essay writing, you might want to spend some time looking at examples. This can give you further ideas for your outline. Besides, good samples can inspire writing your very own visual arts essay. After all, art appreciation isn’t easy!

Whether you are writing a brief response piece or an entire extended essay, following these steps will improve the quality of your work. With enough practice, you will be composing visual arts essays with your eyes closed.

Visual Art Essay Topic

Still uncertain whether to write about Pablo Picasso or The Color Theory? Take a quick look at this list! Or allow our title generator to create an idea for you.

Here are 19 visual arts essay topics we have compiled just for you:

  1. From painting to filmmaking: a brief history.
  2. Leonardo da Vinci and the Golden Ratio.
  3. Baya Mahieddine – the girl that inspired Picasso.
  4. What do we mean by ‘contemporary art’?
  5. Victorian beauty standards and their depiction in art.
  6. How World War I gave birth to Dadaism.
  7. The symbolism in Frida Kahlo’s paintings.
  8. Cave paintings as very first artworks.
  9. What is the difference between art and design?
  10. Bollywood: how cinema evolved in India.
  11. How the Edo period in Japan defined its arts and culture.
  12. Salvador Dali’s influence on the surrealist movement.
  13. Perpetuation of stereotypes in modern art.
  14. Women in art: why are female artists often overlooked or forgotten.
  15. Is graffiti a legitimate form of art?
  16. The history and evolution of graphic novels.
  17. Greek and Roman sculptures: similarities and differences.
  18. Iconoclasm during the French revolution and its impact on art.
  19. The evolution of Islamic Arts.

Thank you for reading! We hope that you will find inspiration among these visual arts topic ideas. Check out our visual arts essay examples that you will find below.

194 Best Essay Examples on Visual Arts

Impressionism Art Tour

Featuring landscapes the work is representative of impressionism, although with an American take on it, focusing on the backgrounds, and the use of intermediary colors and shades in showing the effect of light on the [...]
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1106

Modernist Art: A Feminist Perspective

Clarke limited the definition of modernism even further by his restriction of it to the facets of the Paris of Manet and the Impressionists, a place of leisure, pleasure, and excesses, and it seems that [...]
  • Pages: 6
  • Words: 2069

Myth of America in Nicole Foran’s Rattlesnake Artwork

The combined impact of environmental devastation and the annihilation of indigenous peoples and cultures imbue Nicole Foran's 2008 collage with a haunting quality, and a tangible sense of guilt, thanks to her personal contribution to [...]
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 835

Andy Warhol’s Pop Art and Mass Production

Why not decide that the world was as inanimate as the art-that the figure in the mirror was a corpse? Andy Warhol's Pop art both celebrated and lamented the culture and situation of his time.
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 641

Byzantine Art: The Concept of the Emperor

Thus, the works of art present the concept of the emperor as the embodiment of state and divine power, placing him below Christ in the hierarchy of power but above other influential personalities as, for [...]
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 623

Byzantine Art: The Role of Portraiture

It also refers to the art produced after the decay of Constantinople in the hands of the Ottoman Empire."So in a very broad sense it includes the art of Russia, Greece and other countries under [...]
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 736

Byzantine Art: The Virgin Mary

The maphorion always was presumed to be the assurance for the Byzantine empires' security as its episode in the place of adoration of the Blachernai in the 5th century; by the 7th century the image [...]
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1271

The Mosaic of Constantine IX in St. Sophia

This essay is devoted to the discussion of a question about the most convincing explanation for the replacement of the heads of the emperor, the empress, and Christ in the mosaic of Constantine IX in [...]
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 637

Cultural Phenomenon of Graffiti

Though the artistic value of the graffiti remains questionable for most cultural experts, certain samples of spray-painting may be regarded the works of art in the context of the hip-hop culture.
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 983

Western Influences on the Japanese Animation Industry

The Japanese animation industry has significantly evolved to overcome most of the other animation industries in the world. The establishment of newspaper humorous strips and motion pictures in the west spurred the development of the [...]
  • Pages: 9
  • Words: 2467

Art and Literature in African-americans Diaspora

Still, the past cannot be forgotten, as it is perpetuated in the deeds and feelings, which were brightly perceived in the novel Beloved by Morrison and in the art world of Kara Walker visualizing the [...]
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 510

Masterpieces of the Byzantine: Virgin of Chora

Among the surviving pieces are numerous portraits of the Holy Virgin and Christ, such as: 'Mosaics of the Infancy of the Virgin', 'the Infancy of Christ', and 'the Ministry and Miracles of Christ'.
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1185

Ron Eti’s Performing Art

He used a pulley to hoist paper towels and made sure that they passed over the heads of the people who were in the hall as the audience. A and that is why his work [...]
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 883

Ornament and Crime: Economic Aspects

Rapid changes in decorations have led to depreciation of the fruit of labour. It is imperative to tolerate ornaments only if they promote the pleasures of our fellowmen.
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 561

Digitisation Effects on Art

The effect of such an idea leads to the global opportunity for mankind to get closer toward the sphere of the highest achievements of people in art.
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 852

Visual and Performance Arts in Creative Process

In painting, artists need to know how different paints convey messages and how to blend different paints to convey the desired artistic message. The Number of oil pigments used by artists depends on the desired [...]
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 1031

Image and Meaning, Symbolism, Myths, Ideology

Thesis statement: This study provides useful terminology and important understanding regarding the use of symbols such as the image, shape or suggestion of an apple in attempting to convey an idea.
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1573

Analisis of work “American Gothic”

According to reports, the artist was inspired to create the painting when he saw the farmhouse from the window of a car in his home state of Iowa."He decided to paint the house built in [...]
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 974

“Water Strider” by Michael Heizer

Out of these ideas grew the concept of earthwork art, heavily influenced by the ancient past, strongly associated with the divorce between the academic art of the gallery and the natural art of the time [...]
  • Pages: 7
  • Words: 2111

Chinese Culture: Chinese Calligraphy Art

At the same time, the interrelation between the word and image and between the message and the form of the artistic works is rather important in the Chinese culture.
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1107

Ron Meuck’s Postmodern Artworks

The name says it all as the sculpture is the image of a big man seated on the floor. Mueck explains this as being a serendipitous aspect of the piece as it reflects the model [...]
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 1071

Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”

In a temporary post as a missionary in the village of Petit Wastes in Belgium, he recorded peasant miners' lives in his drawings. He was later exposed to Impressionist artists' works and became friends with [...]
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1544

The Language of Graphics and Visual Art

Bush in the clothes of Roman emperor, standing on the tribune and playing harp so that the music he is making comes into the microphone. The style of the artwork is cartoon or caricature, due [...]
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1426

“The Shadows of Katrina” by Machyar Gleunta

The art object chosen for this report is the painting titled "The Shadows of Katrina". After one of the exhibitions in the capital of Indonesia, the talent of a young artist was noticed by art [...]
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 852

How Writing Is a Form of Art Practice

The concept of writing in expanded sense also extends into visual arts where writing is considered as a verb referring to an activity in the world of arts or writing within arts.
  • Pages: 7
  • Words: 2278

Art and Society: Goals and Duties of Artists

Therefore, it can be asserted that one of the roles of art is to preserve the cultural trait and heritage of a community or society. This is both to the user of the artistic material [...]
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1752

The Visual Arts of the Early Renaissance Period

The modern era brought in the renaissance period, Which was later brought up by Jules Mitchelete of Paris and Jacob Burckhardt of Basle and they go on to describe this period as the discovery of [...]
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1043

Emblazoned on History: The Fleur de Lis

The Fleur de Lis is most recognized as the symbol for French Royalty or as a part of a coat of arms, used in many European countries, including England and Scotland.
  • Pages: 8
  • Words: 2269

Yue Minjun’s Self-Portraits As Modern Art

This paper will try to present the aesthetic as well as commercial interpretation of artist Yue Min Jun as an artist, in the eyes of a westerner but with the consideration of personal history and [...]
  • Pages: 9
  • Words: 2604

Art and Design Principles and Their Effects

Contrast helps in emphasis, variation, and addition of interest which enables the user to develop a certain feeling in the work of art. Harmony refers to the consistency of appearance in a work of art.
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 600

Painting as the Second of the Classical Art Forms

Here, the paper tries to discuss the evolution of painting and sculpture as important forms of Art, and the reason behind the consideration of painting as the second most classic form of art behind the [...]
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1466

“Understanding Art” by Lois Fichner-Rathus

Though the two works differ in the color gamut used and in the forms and directions of the lines resorted to, in both cases the viewer is encouraged to answer various questions that one can [...]
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 602

Site Specific Arts: Sculptures Through Pictures

This piece of art was the result of the Environmental Workshop Class that Hamrol taught in CalArts, and the process of its creation involved his students and friends: "We spent the better part of the [...]
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 658

Pastilles Poncelet

The main rule of making the poster, which is showiness, belongs to Cheret, as he stated that the attention in the poster should be emphasized on one detail, whether it is a person or a [...]
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 537

“Glassworks” by Louis Comfort Tiffany

The public's interest in Tiffany's glassworks revived in the mid-fifties of the 20th. Tiffany occasionally splattered colors onto his windows to augment the effects of certain elements in the window's design.
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 656

Photography and Arts

Ice Sculpting is truly an art of its own, and even though this style of art is not permanent, unless a person were to place the item into the freezer, this would still be categorized [...]
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 767

Crafts and Fine Arts.

Moreover, to explain the vaguely difference between them, one may give the example of the art work that may be assigned to the both categories: either to the crafts or to the fine art.
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 598

Milton Glaser’s Poster Review

The design style is certainly appropriate to the communication, as it united the same ideas and the feelings of the different people concerning the heart of the United States of America, the New York City, [...]
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 595

Illustrators Artists and Designers

They have indeed been a great influence in my interest to art and design and have greatly contributed to the economic growth, political and social enhancement of their nations.
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 579

The Pregnant Form as Art Form

However, with the advent of Christianity and the vilification of the female form, it became necessary to hide the woman's body, especially the 'grotesque' form of the pregnant woman.
  • Pages: 7
  • Words: 2562

The Pregnant Form as Modern Art Form

However, with the advent of Christianity and the vilification of the female form, it became necessary to hide the woman's body, especially the 'grotesque' form of the pregnant woman.
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 2046

Visual Perspective in Renaissance Art

Murray has argued that perspective allowed the illiterate and the literate to visualize a picture and created a pictorial space that unified the beholder with the image.
  • Pages: 5
  • Words: 1372

My Journey Through Liberal Arts

Art is one of the main forms of liberal arts which influences the perception of the world and understanding of its beauty, allows a person to adapt to the new environment, and develops critical thinking [...]
  • Pages: 12
  • Words: 3624

Nudity vs. Pornography When Used in Artwork

Nude art forms date back to the ancient Greeks who had the utmost respect for the sanctity that is the human body even though the same cannot be said in the present day where artists [...]
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 752

Ancient Art. Tarantine Grave Relief and Kouros

Arts of the antique world refers to the lots of types of art that were in the backgrounds of ancient societies, such as those of antique China, India, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome.
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 501

From Galleries to Graffiti

The city's "rich manufacturing heritage" was the focal point in the decision of the theme for the photographs. The photographs were taken as a part of the project for the company that Meiselas works for, [...]
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 600

“Bull and Woman” Artwork by Faraj Daham

At the same time, when evaluating the object from the standpoint of conformity with Arab culture, it can be argued that the style and plot of the work largely convey the peculiarities of social organization.
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1104

Tile: Museum Assignment

In essence, the tile is painted blue except for the thick contours, the thick lines bordering the contours, and the badge-like shape.
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1155

The Piece of Art “Confrontation” by Spencer Fiddler

While line etching as a form of art has been around for quite sometime the distinctive style utilized by Spencer in this instance is unique in that the personally identifiable details of the subjects involved [...]
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 645

Man Ray’s Artworks Blazing the Trail to Africa

However, as the fascination of the view subsided and gave way to more constructive thinking it occurred to me that the artworks were somewhat polished, that the tint of the ingenuity, so precious and so [...]
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 927

“Barbie Dolls” Image by Chris Jordan

However, the image passes the test, and, consequently delivers its intended message, which is to portray the "nudity" of the modern people in various activities that they undertake each passing day.
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 561

Mark Dion’s Artworks Appreciation

In particular, the artist heightens the role of scientific explorations in modern society by locating the basis of environmental politics in the origins of knowledge and history about nature.
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 290

“100 Cans” Artwork by Andy Warhol

They say that the work reflects the pop art of the USA. I would like to clarify that the type of an art movement appeared in the early fifties in the United Kingdom of Great [...]
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 827

Char Davies’ Osmose as Digital Media Art

The participants also experience a strong feeling of immersion in the virtual world; it was already noted that they perceive the virtual reality as a strong personal experience.
  • Pages: 1
  • Words: 559

Multimedia Art: Osmose Environment by Char Davies

This feature of Osmose implies the unique nature of the new media and its ability to stay connected to the other features such as immersion and hypermedia, as the interactive nature is rather broad and [...]
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 600

Osmose Media Art Project by Char Davies

It is paramount to note that the level of integration that has been achieved with this work is truly astounding. The most important aspect that should not be disregarded is that it can be viewed [...]
  • Pages: 1
  • Words: 552

Media Arts: Char Davies’ Osmose Virtual Environment

Osmose by Davies as the art installation reflects all the features of the modern media while combining the elements of the virtual environments with the persons' perception and such physical processes as breathing and moving.
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 501

Visual Analysis of Nature in Modern Art

In the age of modern arts, when both the creators and the audience is less concerned with the physical form and more with the underlying messages and feelings that art invokes, the multi-faceted topic of [...]
  • Pages: 6
  • Words: 1701

Art Criticism and Its Basic Stages

At this step, the art critic mentions everything he/she knows and understands about the piece of art. The final step is judgment, which entails how the critic thinks of the work.
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 265

Chapters 7-9 in “Understanding Comics” by McCloud

Despite the strict logical organization of the stages from the basic understanding of purpose to sharpening the specific skills related to the form of art, the author claims that many artists tend to learn these [...]
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 877

Beaton Institute Archive

Therefore, the first part of this study explores the Abbass Studios Ltd.fonds through the story of the family and close observation of the selected works that constitute the chronicle of Sydney and all of Cape [...]
  • Pages: 8
  • Words: 2316

Chicano Mural in Los Angeles

It is imperative to mention that the number of Chicano murals in Los Angeles is truly astounding, and it is not an easy task to choose the one that is the most visually appealing.
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 367

Underworld in Cerberus, Blood Meridian, Scenes in Hell

Cerberus therefore provides the viewer with a significant representation of hell and the underworld by encompassing the forces reigning in the underworld and its significance in allowing entry and exit from the underworld.
  • Pages: 6
  • Words: 1666

Cultures and Emotions in Picasso’s Artworks

Nonetheless, Picasso had a tendency to deny the influence of the African culture in his paintings, and It could be said that the primary reason for the denial of the African tradition is the fact [...]
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 582

Arabic Calligraphy and Contemporary Artists

Arabic calligraphy is a form of art involving the use of the Arabic language and alphabet. In the old town of Jeddah, for instance, artists have blended Arabic calligraphy with graffiti to create calligraffiti.
  • Pages: 8
  • Words: 2213

History of Renaissance

In specific, the theme of human body proportions is well-reflected in the engraving The Fall of Men; the brilliant use of color and attention to details in oils, characteristic of Michelangelo and Da Vinci, are [...]
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 864

Napoleonic Portraiture in David’s and Canova’s Art

David's "Napoleon Crossing the Alps" is a masterpiece because it gives the true picture of Napoleon Bonaparte. Although this was not the case with Napoleon, the painting achieved its purpose because the emperor was always [...]
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 574

Contemporary Art at Saatchi Gallery of London

The work states the idea that the "location of the soul was not necessarily in the body", and the focus is not on the man trying to breathe above the water, but on the vivid [...]
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1133

Visual and Performing Arts

As a result, visual and performing arts are crucial for the participators and the society as a whole. The study of visual and performing arts is very crucial for the success in the industry.
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 606

Ancient Chinese Arts Comparison

On the right is The Seated Buddha, a sandstone carving from the Northern Wei Dynasty obtained from a cave along the Silk Road in China.
  • Pages: 6
  • Words: 1632