Sample History Paper on Art Analysis: Jacob Lawrence’s “Barber Shop” and Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte”

Sample Art Paper on Art Analysis: Jacob Lawrence’s “Barber Shop” and Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte”

Prior Journals 1-4

Copy and paste each of your journal assignments, including their headings, in this space, and remove the template language. Keep the “Artwork Pair Chosen” paragraph from one of your journals at the start of your paper, but remove the others.



Art by: Jacob Lawrence, Barber Shop and Seurat, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte


The use of art as a social instrument cannot be overstated. As a result, individuals in society can use their capacities and skills related to critical thinking and gain meaning from a work of art such as a painting, sculpture, or picture. In their careers, artists have used their work to shed light on various facets of their life; in doing so, they have been able to impart valuable knowledge to others who witness their creations. The appreciation of art fosters original thought as well as the capacity for self-expression in its viewers. Building one’s self-confidence in this way paves the way for more audacious artistic expression of one’s ideas and feelings. There is a connection between the many works of art; they all address the same general topic or subject matter. For instance, religion is shown in several different works of art, such as the picture of Jesus and the Ten Commandments created by Leonardo da Vinci and the portrait of Sor Juana that Miguel Cabrera painted. We can draw connections between many elements of the two art pieces, such as how the topic has been realized in each of the works. However, the paper will focus on color, line, and space while comparing two works of art by Jacob Lawrence and Georges Seurat. The paintings in question are titled “The Library” and “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte,” respectively.

The picture that Jacob Lawrence did of the library dated back to the 20th century and was completed in 1960. The reawakening of art characterized the period. During this time, several artists emerged who used painting as a medium to communicate their perspectives on various social, economic, and historical topics. During this time, paintings were more preoccupied with symbolism, marking the beginning of the modernist movement in art. Since the figures in the painting are focused on their books, it represents the aspiration of African Americans to increase their knowledge and become more educated. This is because the artwork depicts the African pursuit of literacy1 in a library setting. The author’s ambition to comprehend African American history was a driving force behind his work, and he satisfied this urge by perusing several histories and fictional accounts of the period.

Because most of the persons shown in the painting had dark skin tones, the artist chose to focus primarily on using dark colors to convey the appearance of African American skin tones. Everyone in the image looks to be wholly engrossed in their books. It is possible that the artist doing a study on African culture is represented by the individual standing in the front, clearly in view, and gazing at some African art. The history of African Americans is the principal subject matter shown in the picture. Both the setting of the artwork and the concept that served as its inspiration lends credence to this assertion. The artist chose to work with warm and cold hues, red, yellow, and blue.

To properly comprehend and analyze the painting, it is necessary to ask oneself why the persons shown in the image are looking so intently at the books. This lends the painting an atmosphere that is both thought-provoking and content-based. The task of determining the goal of the artwork and the message it intends to convey is also considered. The artwork has a captivating appearance because of the various hues, making it possible to recognize the many extra pictures inside the picture quickly. For instance, the whole picture that is shown in the artwork has a variety of colors. The paintings in the books are also distinct from one another, and it is possible to make out the individual pieces of artwork that the person stood in front of. The flawless application of lines and the outstanding brushwork have contributed to simplifying the differentiation process.

On the other hand, the implication of using colorful designs in an artwork is described by Biles and Jeremy in their narrative about Leonora Carrington, which was written 2017 and the story published in 2017. Because they cannot adequately convey their thoughts and emotions via the medium of language, many artists use a wide range of colors while creating their works of art. This allows them to convey their meanings through a variety of mediums. The piece of art created by George portrays a gathering of people chilling out next to the La Grande Jatte River. On the right-hand side of the artwork, there is a scene depicting a couple strolling together while holding hands. On the left, there is what seems to be a trendy female fisherman. A solitary individual sitting and using a slender cane can be seen looking across the river in the distance. Two soldiers have taken their positions at attention, and one is blowing into a horn. One of the remaining female characters is crocheting, while another is pictured protecting herself from the rain with an orange umbrella. These are some of the more prominent characters in George’s artwork (The Art Story, 2020). It portrayed the Sunday rituals practiced by the working class in Paris at the time. A close inspection of the artwork reveals several unconcerned individuals unwinding in a lush and hospitable setting while enjoying the refreshing breeze. It appears that everybody is preoccupied with themselves and their activities. In addition to the property, there is a lake, which they had frequented as a location to spend time doing enjoyable activities and pass the time. Because they are with their children, they are now in such a merry mood, as described by this characteristic. A bright day is indicated by the fact that other people carry umbrellas over their heads. Historians compare Seurat’s early work “Bathers at Asnieres” to his later masterpiece “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” noting that the latter is bathed in more excellent light (Andrey, V.(2018). The fact that the park was being used for prostitution at the time lends credence to the theory that the artwork depicts the social hypocrisy of the city. The woman holding a rod relates to this topic. Experts see the open mixing of social classes as the painter’s way of highlighting the carefree nature of Parisian citizens.

Artist George Seurat depicted a Sunday afternoon on La Grande Jatte’s island in his painting A Sunday Afternoon.

In addition, he uses a wide range of hues to communicate various feelings via his artwork. The hues green, sky blue, brown, and black has all been employed by the artist. The many feelings individuals want to express may be conveyed via these hues, which speak for themselves. For example, the color green has been used to indicate abundance. However, the color black has been used to communicate the feeling that there is a potential for the existence of sorrowful characters. Despite the common perception that dogs, cats, and monkeys are antagonistic against one another, the three animals have been placed in close proximity to one another in this scenario. It describes the spirit that there is oneness among the people who live in the area and that they are all in it together. In their essay from 1969, Alexander and Hubert outline the utilization of specific behaviors to represent a sign of love to individuals who are living together. In this piece of art, we can see a group of youngsters laughing and playing together in various locations while some hide from the heat by resting in the shade provided by nearby trees. Others were seen generously exchanging umbrellas with one another, which is a vivid picture of love and community (Andrey, V.(2018). We will be asking ourselves many questions about the sort of message the artist was attempting to express, and there are a lot of questions. A tree is a metaphor for life, death, and rebirth, all at the same time.

The findings of the study, which were acquired from the artwork, provide evidence of the historical background of an area, including components of cultures from different countries. In addition, we are able to observe that individuals are participating in a broad range of activities right now. For example, the fact that we observed a fishing boat indicates the use of a variety of fishing tactics in actual fishing situations. In any case, this piece of work does not have a clear message that it intends for its readers or viewers to take away from it; as a result, it is likely to be somewhat general. Therefore, one may argue that this piece of artwork does not authentically portray the culture of the place it comes from.

In 1969, Robert and Herbert produced the essay “Seurat And the Making of La Grande Jatte,” which could articulate an artwork’s political significance. This is evident in the society we live in today, when so many works of art are used as a political weapon to characterize a politician. After an in-depth examination, it has been determined that this work of art has several different sociopolitical connotations. For example, a group of adults is congregated along the beachfront with their offspring. I was under the impression that this was a recreational facility where families bring their children to spend time at the beach and have fun.

On the other hand, it is only partially apparent whether or not the artwork conveys any political meaning. On the other hand, we have seen an elderly couple and a group of males gathering together. In their paper titled “The Work of Art and the Problem of Politics in Berlin Dada,” Doherty and Brigid describe how politics has been impacted by the work of art, either badly or constructively. They focus on the Dada movement in Berlin at the time. They may be talking about politics, which is why suspicion points in that direction. Even more convincing is the fact that the Old Man is resting a stick on his hands, which suggests that he is trying to communicate something to the others in the group.

The information that can be gathered from this setting is that the artist is well-known for having very original ways of thinking on many topics. Leonard and Anne presented a thorough description of an artist’s basic personality in the article that they authored and published titled “Seurat And The Making Of La Grande Jatte.” The essay was named “Seurat And The Making Of La Grande Jatte.” They are a depiction of the serious and critical thinking processes that go into an artist’s work. The information that has been presented suggests that the artist has conducted research into the setting and has consciously produced content that can be conveyed utilizing a different format. Messages may be conveyed via the works of artists using a variety of different media, including music, drawings, and paintings. They are able to make a piece of artwork that appropriately communicates their sentiments because they are aware of how to blend different colors in order to convey a certain message. It is plainly clear that the artist has very little room for mistake about how they express ideas through the works of art they make. Despite the fact that we might arrive at a variety of conclusions regarding this artwork, it is crystal clear that this is the case. They will, in almost all cases, make use of a wide range of colors in order to convey the message that they want the audience to receive.

The examination that was carried out on the context of the work found that the piece of artwork was conceived with the intention of describing the activities of a certain group of persons. John Wolford and his co-authors discuss the steps involved in the production of artwork in the essay that they authored together and titled “The Art of Handcrafted Instruments.” Before starting to produce artwork, this process requires the use of techniques in the form of the collecting of information, the formulation of patterns, the collation of data from a range of sources, and the analysis of this information. It is possible to make a great number of conclusions from the piece of artwork thanks to the fact that it represents many different sorts of cultural rituals going place. Collecting, analyzing, categorizing, establishing patterns, and aggregating data from many sources within the community have all been essential steps in creating this piece of art, which has been dependent on those steps throughout the process.

This piece of art has been dependent on those steps throughout the entire process. The work of art was produced in a complete manner due to the fact that it depicted many forms of life. This idea has been successfully communicated by the artist in a manner that is analogous to the way in which we go about our daily lives, such as by taking our young children to the beach so that we may all have a good time together. The truth of the situation is that it has been able to convey the acts of a wide range of different people at various points in time. As was previously covered in this discussion, the artist may use a wide variety of methods in order to convey messages to the audience. Lewis and Adrian have provided a portrayal of an ironic essence in the form of their paper that is named “Fashion and Irony,” which is set within the setting of the fashion industry. When it comes to selecting the colors to utilize, another person is being snarky. In this regard, I have already gone over the importance of a few different colors that have been included into the aesthetic of this piece of artistic work. The color green denotes that there is adequate supply and that people are happy with the lovely breeze. People are comfortable when there is sufficient supply. This is due to the fact that the colors were selected on purpose in order to convey an impression of the subject matter that is shown in each painting.

The realization that so much mental effort, physical labor, and inventiveness went into the creation of the artwork that George Seurat made enables me to appreciate it on a deeper level. He labored hard for a period of two years in order to construct a composition that was only worthy of praise by an observant person. We must admire his distinct pointillism style. The audience is better able to make meaningful connections between the numerous components of the work if they have a good understanding of the context in which the work was made. This is one reason why understanding the setting in which the work was formed is advantageous to interpretation. Those who have experienced a piece of art in its whole are in a better position to discuss its component elements. Keeping the context in mind is an efficient technique to express not just the intentions of the artist but also the purpose of the work itself.

The work of Jacob Lawrence and Seurat combined with their experience in painting, observation, and the literature on color theory, educated me on the significance of ordinary activities and occurrences. The artist’s intricate work and its uncomplicated theme give the impression that beauty does not lie in deeds but rather in the concordance of shape, color, and light. The painting inspires me to look for something more significant to my life and value my simple moments. It also serves as a helpful reminder that a career is not a static concept and that I should strive to improve my skills in an ongoing manner. The humanities class will improve my personal life and career in various ways, based on my experience from the course and the examination of the painting that George Seurat and Jacob Lawrence did. To begin, the introduction to various fields within the field of humanity will assist me in making the best choice for my career and in determining my existing qualities as well as those that need to be developed. Second, I will be able to comprehend the philosophical messages that artists are trying to convey through their work, which will help me improve both my capacity for empathy and my self-awareness. Thirdly, the communication skills I have developed throughout the course will assist me in connecting with other people and establishing positive personal or professional relationships by allowing me to comprehend a variety of perspectives and methods. Furthermore, finally, education in the humanities is the kind of education that is essential for developing critical thinking and calibrating a moral compass. [citation needed] Because of this, the set of values that I have learned from the disciplines of philosophy, literature, and art will enhance both my intellectual autonomy and my ability to make ethical decisions, both of which are necessary for the achievement of both academic and professional success.





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ArtInstitute Chicago.(2020). ASundayonLa GrandeJatte—1884|TheArt Institute ofChicago. The Art Institute of Chicago

“A Sunday On La Grande Jatte — 1884 | The Art Institute Of Chicago”. The Art Institute Of Chicago, 2020, Accessed 16 Dec 2020.

Doherty, Brigid. “The Work of Art And The Problem Of Politics In Berlin Dada.” October, vol 105, 2003, pp. 73–92. MIT Press – Journals, doi:10.1162/016228703769684164.

Guthrie, Dorothy Littlejohn. Integrating African American Literature in the Library and Classroom. ABC-CLIO, 2011.

Martin, F. D., & Jacobus, L. A. (2018). The humanities through the arts. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

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Yugar, Theresa A. Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz: Feminist Reconstruction of Biography and Text. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014.