Art Topics For Research Paper

Art history research paper topics and their writing processes differ from other college and university academic papers that students are assigned to write. In such papers you make the necessary arguments concerning the things you see; to be more precise you interpret visual information into verbal information. To write a really good research paper on art history, you should be familiar with the terms needed to describe the work of art and it is extremely important to choose appropriate art history research paper topics.

Art History Research Paper Topics: Types

You can cover your art history research paper in 2 ways:

  • Narrative – the description of the facts concerning the topic, which is based on opinions and facts.
  • Analytical – the presented argument should be supported by the evidence.

Art History Research Paper Topics: Renaissance

Choosing the Renaissance period as their art history research paper topics, students usually pay special attention to Michelangelo’s style. You can compare several of his early works with his later works and discuss the factors which changed his style of painting.
It is also recommended to evaluate Leonardo Da Vinci’s career and his influence on art.

Art History Research Paper Topics: Far East

The Buddhist architecture and Indian sculpture and painting are inexhaustible topics for research papers on art. You can compare Indian, Japanese and Chinese visual arts and point out differences and similarities between them.

Art History Research Paper Topics: Middle Ages. Gothic and Romanesque

This is a large field for discussions and descriptions, for example, you can compare buildings of the Romanesque architecture, explain the role of illuminated manuscripts in art, etc.

Art History Research Paper Topic Examples

  1. Main similarities and differences between the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.
  2. Features of sculptures in ancient Greece. The influence of science on sculptures.
  3. The role of Mughal paintings in forming the image of the Mughal kings in India.
  4. Biblical motives in Leonardo da Vinci’s early paintings.
  5. Surrealism in Salvador Dali’s sculptures.
  6. The origin of the traditional Japanese and Chinese costumes and their impacts on culture.
  7. Key changes in methodology in paintings at the epoch of Impressionism. The differences in paintings of two impressionists: Edgar Degas and Claude Monet.
  8. The main features of late Baroque architecture (c. 1660 – c. 1725)
  9. The history of creating The Death of Sardanapalus and its place in Eugène Delacroix’s paintings.
  10. Different mannerisms in Pablo Picasso’s paintings, from Art Nouveau to Cubism: evolution, or just separate periods in his oeuvre?
  11. The combination of different art styles in the extraordinary painting The Kiss by Gustav Klimt.
  12. Various interpretations of The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.
  13. Ancient Greek motifs in Michelangelo’s sculpture, David.
  14. The psychology of color in Kazimir Malevich’s works.
  15. Realistic and artificial motifs in Jasper John’s Flag.
  16. Why was Renaissance art so overwhelmed with Christian symbols and themes?
  17.  Was Hitler’s artwork actually good?
  18. Is the majority of modern art a scam?
  19. What was the influence of the Industrial Revolution on art development?
  20. What is so special about the carving The Veiled Virgin?
  21. What were the main reasons of the Roman artistic style shift in the 4th century?
  22. How were Victorian beauty standards depicted?
  23. What is so special about the light in Monet’s Sunrise?
  24.  What were the primary aims of the camera obscura and how did it change throughout the years?
  25. Compare the critiquing styles of Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg.
  26. What are the peculiar features of Art Deco hotels in French Indochina?
  27. Was sculpture art the main business in Venice?
  28. The connection between French caricatures of the 19th century and Goya’s prints.
  29. What is so unusual and unique in Russian icons?
  30. The evolution of the uncovered body in paintings of various periods and countries.

You may also be interested in other research paper topics that  cover various disciplines.

Art History Research Paper Topics Help

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The dreaded term paper has been making its way from English classes into Art classes. No one in the history of school has ever asked to write a term paper but with preparation and a good topic, you can make the research fun and get a good grade. For inspiration, here are 10 ideas you can use.

  • Topic 1: Trace the History and Cultural Significance of Tattoos.
  • In Japan restaurants and public pools have "No tattoos" signs. This topic could take years if you talk about tattoos across the world. Pick two to three countries, discuss the origin of tattoos, and compare and contrast the cultural meanings.

  • Topic 2: What is Art?
  • A Costa Rican artist created a controversial exhibit where a starving dog was chained to a wall with food just out of its reach. What is the definition of art and who defines it?

  • Topic 3: The History of Motion Pictures.
  • Do a detailed history of the creation of film. Detail how film has evolved over the decades from silent to color. How have the changes affected the medium?

  • Topic 4: A Critique of the Architecture of Sir Christopher Wren
  • Sir Wren's architectural style is as influential in 2015 as it was in the 18th Century. Analyze several famous buildings that contain elements of his groundbreaking style.

  • Topic 5: Feminist Art: Is it really Art?
  • First define what feminism is. Then define what art is. Using relevant examples from feminist literature and art pieces, argue for or against the legitimacy of feminist art.

  • Topic 6: Mental Illness and Creativity:
  • Is there a link between mental illness and artistic genius? Use the biographies of several artists to prove your point.

  • Topic 7: Is Art Therapy Effective?
  • Define art therapy. Use case studies and medical records to prove if it works or not.

  • Topic 8: A History of Film Censorship
  • Why does it occur? How do filmmakers react to it? Is it ever effective?

  • Topic 9: Art and Social Commentary
  • How have artists used their talent to display and take stances on hot button issues? Provide any historical context.

  • Topic 10: Music and Health.
  • Does music have any positive or negative effect on our physical or mental health? Why and how?

    Use one of our topics directly for your art term paper or combine two or more to make an original idea. Happy writing!

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