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× Sherrill Library will be closed from May 18 - September 2 due to construction. Services by Appointment: Research Consultations, Library Instruction, Pick Up appointments

Moriarty Library will be open May 28 - August 16, Monday - Thursday from 10am-6pm, Friday from 9am-noon. Closed weekends and holidays.

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Art History


Try to narrow to a period in time, to a style, and then to an artist.

  • Can you identify the style?
  • Think about the tools, supplies, and skills available at different times
  • Are there clues in the content of the work (the people, buildings, etc.)?
  • Think about the evolution of an artist's work to date it

You'll get better at this the more you study art history, but remember that you have an instinct for it as well.  Even honeybees can differentiate between Monet and Picasso paintings!  Play art history quiz games online or on your phone to practice identification:

Formal Analysis


Think about all those visual elements you identified and interpret what they meant, to the artist, to the period, and to that discipline of art.