Formal Essay

ASSIGNMENT 2: Formal Essay


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The length of this formal essay is a maximum of 1,250 words and a minimum of 1,240 words (not including endnotes and bibliography). It must be double‐spaced, in standard one-inch margins, 12‐point Times Roman type, in WORD format. Please include a title page with pertinent class information: your name, student number, group T.A., assignment number and due date. Include 1) endnotes in Chicago Manual Style; 2) a bibliography in Chicago Manual Style; and 3) the images mentioned in the paper with image citations. (Images occur at the end of the essay. Do not place images on the pages within the text.) The citation is placed under the image and includes the following: Figure #, Artist, Title, Date, Medium, Dimensions. Note: the title of the work of art is in Italics.

Sample caption: Fig. 1. Paul‐Émile Borduas, Radiating Expansion, 1956, oil on canvas, 115.7 x 89 cm.

References to illustrations should be made in the text of your paper in the following form: (Fig. 1), (Fig. 2), etc. This directs the reader to the image that you are discussing.

Sample illustration reference: Plamondon’s Jesus on the Road to Calvary exhibits a knowledge of engravings of Italian Renaissance painting (Fig. 2).

Note: For this Assignment 2 you cannot select artists or artworks you already considered for Assignment 1.


For your Formal Essay, select ONE work of art by a Canadian artist from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts website for the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion of Quebec and Canadian Art. A Canadian artist is an artist who was born or died in Canada or spent some of his / her life in Canada. The work can be from these permanent exhibitions: The Era of Annual Exhibitions (1880s – 1920s); Towards Modernism (1920s – 1930s); The Age of the Manifesto (1940s – 1960s); Expanding Fields (1960s – 1970s). Your chosen work of art must be dated within the time-frame of the 1880s to the 1970s. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts website is at:




For this essay you will discuss a particular theme relating to your selected work of art. Select one of the following themes:

the habitant; domestic scenes e.g. paintings of the family, women, children; the human figure; seasonal landscapes; urban scenes; marine scenes; images of city people; abstract painting; religious and spiritual art; still life painting; primitivism and Quebec art; surrealism in Quebec art; automatic painting; political issues, e.g. regionalism versus nationalism, universalism; influences of modern art from elsewhere on Canadian artists, e.g. New York; Paris; Mexico; art technique and materials; how artists’ writings, e.g. Refus Global contribute to an understanding of the work of art

Include in your paper, at least ONE other work by this same artist, on the same theme, that you selected from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts website. (You may find the additional work on the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts website, for the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion of Quebec and Canadian Art, or you can search online for another work by your chosen artist.)

Your paper will mainly concern the artist that you have chosen on the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts website. However, you must also include ONE artwork by another Canadian artist in your paper, on the same theme. The work of this other artist can be used in your essay to provide points of comparison for your chosen artist. (You may find the work of this additional artist on the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts website for the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion of Quebec and Canadian Art, or you can search online.)

Your paper will include a total of two artists and you will be analyzing and researching a total of three works of art.



Thesis Statement)

Please Note: You must read and carefully follow the instructions in the PDF article, “Guidelines on How to Write an Art History Paper,” located on the Assessments page. This document fully explains how to develop and support a thesis statement for your chosen theme. The argument that you develop in the body of your essay must be supported by at least four scholarly research sources. Also make sure that you follow the Format Requirements that are included in the PDF article, “Guidelines on How to Write an Art History Paper”.

Scholarly Research)

For this Formal Essay you will be conducting scholarly research on your artworks. A bibliography of at least FOUR scholarly Art History sources such as online Art History books, Art History e-journal articles, or online Art exhibition catalogues must accompany the assignment as your sources. You may use ONE of the Videos from the François‐Marc Gagnon MMFA Lecture Series listed in the PDF, “Suggested Readings and Viewings” on the Assessments page as one of your scholarly sources. You should have at least three scholarly sources for your chosen artist and at least one scholarly source for your comparative artist.

For a list of scholarly videos see the PDF, “Suggested Readings and Viewings” on the Assessments Page.



Note: Due to the coronavirus epidemic, the books listed as ‘Reserve’ in this PDF have not been placed on reserve at the Webster Library Reserves Room. However, other titles in the PDF can be found online as e-books, e-journals, PDFs, etc. Check this list as some of the material is available online.



Sofia Discovery Tool available via Concordia University Library is an excellent way to find scholarly publications. JSTOR, one of the databases searched by Sofia Discovery Tool is often a successful source for locating on‐line journal articles. Make sure that you read carefully the information “Student and faculty support during Covid-19” on the Library website for accessing online material.



All scholarly sources must be cited in the Chicago Manual Style. Include page numbers for your sources in your citations. The link for the Chicago Style Guide can be accessed on the Assessments Page under Assignment 1. Alternatively, see the website below:

Sources that may be used in addition to your four Scholarly Sources)

Please use the sources listed below sparingly. They should not be used as the primary sources for the development of your thesis statement and the proof that you provide to support it.

Information included on the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts website: The Quebec and Canadian Art Collection:

Online Dictionary and Encyclopedia entries.



Scholarly online websites for Art Museums, Art Galleries, and Artist’s Websites.



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