What are the formal elements of the sculpture

Art in class

Work analysis and interpretation | Plastic, sculpture | Moore, Giacometti, Rodin


I. Reference: work of art - visible reality: What do I see?and

II. Reference: work of art - viewer: How does it affect me?

1. Description of the first impression
  • What do I notice in particular?
  • What mood is being conveyed?
  • What is the impression and effect on the viewer?
2. Exact description of what is visible:
  • Objective or non-objective elements
  • Overall forms, detailed forms
  • Elements: individual figures, groups of figures, objects
3. Analysis of the design means with regard to
3.1 Composition, size, space, movement
  • Composition: structure, symmetry, asymmetry
  • What is the relationship between the shapes and proportions?
  • Size in relation to your own body size: life-size, larger than life, monumental
  • Body-space relationship = relation of the forms to the surrounding area:
  • A sculpture can displace space, reach into it, break through it.
  • Space can flood, penetrate, cut, pierce plastic
  • Movements: standing, sitting, vertical, diagonal, horizontal and the resulting effects: static or dynamic
3.2 Plastic forms
  • Proportions: Describing the body shape as a whole and the individual parts in relation to one another: voluminous, long, fine, delicate, misshapen, petite
  • Expansion of the individual forms: swelling, protruding, spreading out
  • Effect of the plastic form: block-like, closed, angular, round, organic, tectonic
3.3 Surface quality, light
  • Surface texture (haptic qualities): smooth, rough, uneven, polished, dull, furrowed, grooved, traces of work
  • Surface quality (shape qualities): Depressions, elevations, concave and convex surfaces
  • Materiality: imitating surfaces, skin, structures
  • Color of the material
  • Light-shadow effect: light breaks in many fissures, highs and lows, so that a lively play of light and shadow is created; Light is absorbed on a dull surface and reflected on a reflective surface
3.4 mass, weight
  • Dimensions: How does the plastic work?Massiveness, breakthroughs, cavities, enclosed parts of space
  • Optical weight: heavy, massive, massive, burdensome, light, graceful, graceful, floating


III. Reference: content of the work of art - pictorial means: Which meanings and contents are conveyed to me?

4. Interpretation of the knowledge gained through description and formal analysis, taking into account
  • Biographical aspects of the artist: e.g. where did he live, with whom he worked, what moved him, what personal experiences did he have?
  • social and historical aspects: influence of political and social conditions
  • the art-historical classification: influences of contemporaries, artistic trends, stylistic features
5. Summary / Conclusion
  • Summary of the most important aspects of the work

Written by art teacher
Category: Criteria
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