Selections for the Comparative Study

The Comparative Study

For the comparative essay, you need to following things:

  • To discuss and compare three different artworks. The main body of your essay will be a compare-and-contrast style essay, divided up between the three different artworks you choose.
  • The selected works must come from at least two different artists or art periods. For example, you could compare 2 works from Picasso with 1 work from Ruebens.  Or you could compare one Impressionist painting with two Japanese wood block prints.

HL students have one more component:

  • To discuss and provide examples how the studied art/artists impacted your own personal art work.

The comparative study is and external measure, and accounts for 20% of your overall IB Art grade.  It will be structured like a PowerPoint with text, pictures, and charts and graphs if need be.  We will go back over the format more, later.

The Assignment

What we need to do is start figuring out what you are going to write about.  For this homework assignment, I want you to do the following:

  1. Identify three artworks you want to write about for your comparative essay. These three works MUST come from at least 2 different artists or art movements.  Give me a full identification on these artworks:  title, artist, medium, and year.  If you want to include a picture of the artwork as well, then that would be awesome.
  2. Tell me (roughly) what you think you want to say about these works. Give me a sentence or two for each work you selected, explaining to me how they compare or contrast with each other.  You are not doing detail work right now, just brainstorming.
  3. If you are an HL kid, you also need to give me a sentence or two on how these works/artists/art movements impacted your own art. Again, you don’t need to give me tons of material here, just a few sentences to see if these works have potential.


Your textbook, smarthistory, the vast internet, the library, and me.  I also have books on artists and art movements—some at home, and some in the classroom.  Let me know what you need and I will see if I can help you out.


This time around, not only will I be grading this for completion, but I will also be looking at how suitable your choices are.  If there are any issues, we want to deal with them now.  So be prepared to maybe talk things out with me regarding your choices.

This is due Tuesday, Feb. 21st, at 11 pm.  Place it in your Dropbox.