Writing in art history cultivates the skills that are necessary to evaluate objects of art, such as pictures, sculptures and works of literature. It also has to deal with philosophical discourse, as art history observes the tendencies and changes essential to the literary discourse. It is a humanitarian field of study which explains connections between works of art and historical events, and drives parallels between the art in the past and modern masterpieces. To write well on the subject, one should know several keys:
- Inform and persuade. Introduce the names, the authors, the art forms and give the thorough explanation of this or that structure. If you don’t know how to deal with art terms, how do you expect others to understand them? Be specific with last names and years of life. The slightest mistake or confusion will cause your readers to doubt your professionalism as an art historian.
- Prove your point. The most effective way to prove your point is to convince your readers that a particular author, subject or concept is tremendously underrated and did not have the chance to get credit due to historical circumstances. Bring in allusions, quotes and descriptive terms to convince your readers that they have yet much to discover, or try to turn their perception of a painter or a writer upside down by bringing up rare materials or revolutionary thoughts.
- Show connection. Try to tell your teacher that you understand connections between works of art and the people who made them by expressing well-observed statements about the time period they were created in and the cultural background that helped you to make said conclusions. Your readers will be impressed by just how much you know about the whole thing and will probably change their minds on things familiar and famous.
- Be an explorer. Do not simply pin down a sentence without explanation. Try to explore the matter from different sides, and find materials that will make your point valid. If there is an artist you wish to write about, and there is a common opinion about their persona that you feel just isn’t true, don’t be afraid to make bold statements. After all, history is written by the conquerors. No one is going to accuse you of being too frivolous with facts if you treat them with a twist.
- Show that art is inseparable from all spheres of life and tell us more about the process of artistic invention. People who are far from the matter may get interested in the subject, and if you portray the resemblance of art to life, there may be a philosophical discourse involved. You can tell your readers the essentials art history deals with and offer them reasons why what you’re doing is unique. Avoid complex structures and make sure your readers understand what you mean.