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Spring 2021: Sherrill and Moriarty Library are closed as part of the Lesley University COVID-19 response.  Please visit us online through our library website and via our Ask-A-Librarian service,and see our Remote Services Guide.

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.

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