Art essay subjects

Art essay subjects

IELTS Essay Ideas: Is Art a Waste of Time?

Art is a common topic to get in IELTS writing task 2. Below is a sample essay question with ideas.

While some people think that art if an important subject for children to study, others think it is a waste of time.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.


  • Art is a means of expression
    • Children need to learn to express their thoughts and feelings
    • It is often easier for young children to draw pictures than to express complex feelings in words
  • Art is a creative form
    • Creative thinking should be developed
    • Creative thinking is beneficial later in life

Art is A Waste of Time

  • There are other more important subjects that would benefit children for their future life
    • The importance of technology, sciences and languages
  • Studying art does not lead to a successful career
    • Most artists struggle to make a living from selling their art
  • Art is a valuable subject but should not be a main focus on any curriculum or detract from other more important subjects
    • Having a balance of subjects is the best way to help children develop a balanced character in life

100+ Art Essay Topics for Your Excellent Paper

Art is a gold mine for essay ideas. The multiplicity of art styles, genres, and movements gives a great opportunity to choose a topic of your interest. If you are bored with standard assignments, you will like our post because we have collected unusual and catchy essay topics about art of different epochs and countries. Writing essays about artists, artworks, or art history is not only exciting – it may also broaden your erudite horizons. Don’t hesitate to steep yourself in the world of beauty and aesthetics!

Our Great Collection of Art Essay Ideas

When we want to avoid the mistakes of the past, we turn back to our history. The same happens when we are looking for art essay ideas. Art history is a treasury filled with various and exciting topics for your papers. You can choose any epoch, any art movement, any school and present their peculiarities, representatives, and origins.

  1. Printmaking: history and techniques.
  2. The return of cultural property to the African countries after WWII.
  3. The formal elements of the Egyptian portraits of royalties and aristocrats:
    The use of space;
    Colors and color blocks;
    Lines and texture;
    Gestures and emotions.
  4. How can you explain the “philosophy of art”?
  5. When and how did photography become art?
  6. Jewelry of Ancient Egypt:
    The role of jewelry in the afterlife;
    The most used materials and metals;
    Protective amulets;
    Types of ancient Egyptian jewelry.
  7. Edo in Japan: Kabuki theater and woodblock prints.
  8. Why did Egyptians never change their art canon for 3,000 years?
  9. The first Impressionists: Édouard Manet and Claude Monet.
  10. Primeval musical instruments.
  11. The references to Renaissance art history in “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown.
  12. How do the painters of different epochs depict the Apocalypse?
  13. The history of the Venetian carnival masks.
  14. Sacrifice in Mayan art.
  15. Stained glass in Medieval France.

Artist Biography Essay Ideas

Artists’ biographies always have something to surprise with: skeletons in the closet, unusual career stories, difficult childhood, etc. Studying the details of their lives doesn’t only serve for fun. When we analyze a certain piece of art, it is necessary to look into the author’s ideas, motives, and feelings. The understanding of all these aspects simplifies the analysis of the art piece and allows us to produce a more detailed and exhaustive paper. Below, we provide you with a list of talented artists of three centuries. Writing about their colorful lives will be a great art essay idea.

18th century:

Etienne Falconet
Francesco Rastrelli
Hubert Robert
Jacques-Louis David
Jean-Antoine Houdon
Johann Sebastian Bach
Louis François Roubiliac
Ludwig van Beethoven
Thomas Gainsborough
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

19th century:

Auguste Rodin
Claude Monet
Edgar Degas
Eduard Manet
Eugene Delacroix
Franz Schubert
Giuseppe Verdi
Gustav Klimt
Paul Cézanne
Paul Gauguin
Vincent Willem van Gogh

20th century

Alberto Giacometti
Andy Warhol
Constantin Brâncuși
Edvard Munch
Frida Kahlo
Georges Braque
Georgia Totto O’Keeffe
Henry Spencer Moore
Jackson Pollock
Judy Chicago
Pablo Picasso
Salvador Dali

Think Global: Art Around the World

Our planet is an amazing place. We share our home with thousands of different nations, ethnic groups, and tribes. Their cultures are unique and fascinating. You only have to look closer to find some great art essay ideas.

  1. Japanese calligraphy: styles and materials.
  2. K-pop: music style and subculture.
  3. Chinese circus art as a synthesis of ancient traditions and innovations.
  4. Bollywood and Hindi-language film industry.
  5. Fashion and textiles of the African tribes.
  6. The war dance haka in the Maori culture: history and types.
  7. Wayang: traditional shadow puppet theater in Indonesia and Malaysia.
  8. The peculiarities of mehndi in India, Africa, and the Middle East.
  9. Water puppetry: a unique Vietnamese tradition.
  10. The totem masks in the art of Papua New Guinea.

Art Piece Analysis Topic Ideas

Art appreciation essay topics require some specific knowledge. If you choose one of these topics, make sure that you provide all kinds of research about the artist, his or her personal style and technique, the art school, the background, etc. A detailed and well-considered art piece analysis is always highly appreciated.

  1. “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci: style, composition, symbols.
  2. What makes “Darkness Falls” by Patrick Hughes a unique artwork?
  3. Analyze the purpose of the painting “Marriage Contract” by Giovanni Arnolfini.
  4. Describe the structure of “Heart of Gold” by Christopher David White.
  5. The biblical symbols in “The Garden of Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch.
  6. The “demons” of Mikhail Vrubel: “The Demon Seated,” “The Demon Flying,” “The Demon Downcast.”
  7. Symbolism and interpretations of the engraving “Melencolia I” by Albrecht Dürer.
  8. The depiction of the female body in the painting “The Three Graces” by Peter Paul Rubens.
  9. The role of decorating elements for the perception of the painting “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt.
  10. Magic realism in the painting “La note bleu” by Eric Roux-Fontaine.

Modern Art Topic Ideas

New is always better. Of course, this aphorism doesn’t cover all aspects of life. Anyway, modern art has something to surprise you with. The multiplicity of styles, movements, and forms is breathtaking, and you can choose any to write an excellent essay about it!

  1. The artistic styles of modern art:
    British Pop art
    Conceptual art
    Art Deco
  2. Globalization in contemporary art.
  3. Activism as a platform for modern art.
  4. Use of technologies and social media in modern art.
  5. Rise of art fairs in the 2000s.
  6. Multiplicity of forms in modern art.
  7. Political cartoons as a modern art form.
  8. The modern mural as an instrument of political protest.
  9. The technologies that define art of the 21th century
  10. Large-scale artworks within contemporary art.

Art Essay Topics by Type of Essay

Below, we have placed the art essay ideas for argumentative, cause and effect, and compare and contrast essays. These three types are frequently assigned for homework because they allow the evaluation of critical thinking, argumentative skills, and logical reasoning of students.

Argumentative Essay Topics About Art

If you like good discussions as well as art, you are welcome to train your argumentation skills. Prove your viewpoint using logical reasoning and enhanced arguments. Write a well-structured essay, and the high grades will come soon!

  1. The most important painting of the 20th century.
  2. What makes Baroque sculptures recognizable?
  3. Why does “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli best exemplify the ideals of the Renaissance?
  4. Why does modern society put the arts in the role of social service?
  5. Three criteria of “good art.”
  6. Computer games as a kind of art.
  7. Why has “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso had a global impact?
  8. In what ways does art influence our everyday life?
  9. Why is the “Mozart effect” not real?
  10. Is the theater an art form significant enough to change culture?
  11. Why the feminist movement is important for contemporary art.
  12. Is graffiti a kind of art?
  13. Banksy: vandal or artist?
  14. Why art disciplines are necessary in school programs.
  15. Is art a good option for investments?
  16. Should photojournalism be censored?
  17. Can we consider advertisement to be a kind of modern art?
  18. What made Paris a center of art in the 20th century?
  19. Why is art education undervalued around the world?
  20. How does art education help to think different?

Cause and Effect Essay Topics About Art

These art essay topics are based on two key pillars: reasons and consequences. A cause-and-effect link connects everything in this world. There is no exception for art.

  1. Choose one American painting created under strong influence of Japanese art and explain what exact effect it has had.
  2. How did the Second Great Migration influence the art of the Harlem Renaissance?
  3. What was the impact of Hudson River School of Art on the American painting?
  4. How did iconoclasm affect Muslim art?
  5. Has the Cultural Revolution influenced Chinese art?
  6. How did Japanese art influence Van Gogh’s paintings?
  7. The impact of Raphael on the art of the Renaissance.
  8. How did mythology influence the sculptures of Ancient Greece?
  9. How did the Japanese mentality and lifestyle affect the art of the rock garden?
  10. What caused the decline of art in Medieval Europe?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics About Art

These art essay topics are not that easy. You have to work twice as hard to compare two things because you have to be well-informed about each of them. However, the game is worth the candle.

  1. Compare Greek and Egyptian canons of proportions.
  2. The peculiarities of modern art in comparison with the previous art periods.
  3. Similarities and differences in Mannerism and Baroque styles.
  4. Compare the novelties in the paintings of Gustave Courbet to those of Edouard Manet.
  5. Compare the main ideas of Middle Age art and Renaissance art.
  6. Compare Picasso’s Blue and Rose periods.
  7. Compare traditional and modern Caribbean music.
  8. Compare and contrast French and English gardens.
  9. Compare the surrealism in the paintings of Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali.
  10. Compare Baroque and Rococo design styles.

We are absolutely sure that you’ve found an interesting and unusual topic for your art essay in our lists. No doubt, art provides us with inspiration for creating high-quality papers. If you don’t feel confident about your writing skills but have an excellent idea for a paper, you are welcome to use the service EssayShark. Here, you will find a comfortable ordering system, a team of experienced writers, and 24/7 available support. Good luck on the path to academic success, and may the Force be with you!

How to write an art essay

Examining Creativity

The thing that makes an art paper different than any other writing assignment you may encounter may also present you with your greatest writing challenges: when you are tested with how to write an art essay, you will be required to write an account of what you see and to justify your analysis of that art. Essentially, your task is to use words to explain images. From the beginning of learning how to write an art essay, you must be able to grapple with the language of the craft – you must be knowledgeable of the terms and precepts if are to learn how to write an art essay.

More significantly, when you are have become skilled at the task of how to write an art essay, you will be able to properly describe the image before you but also to offer a complete description, offering a valid defence for your perspective of the art. Your paper cannot contain just a random description of the various aspects of the artwork, whether it is a sculpture, building or painting. You need to know exactly what you will say regarding your particular topic, using your ability to both analyse accurately and to properly describe the artwork which you have selected to describe.

Types of Art Writings

If you following the writings of Sylvan Barnet, you will see that he has identified five primary types of art papers. When learning how to write an art essay, it is beneficial to use these different categories to best understand your instructor’s expectations with any of your possible assignments. Of course, if the assignment is at your discretion you may chose to utilise these writing types as a means of brainstorming or exploring the some ideas for the topic of your assignment.

The Sociological Essay examines a specific era in history and suggests how that particular era may have influenced the topic of your discussion. It is possible that your discussion will also raise some more generalised questions regarding social influences, including such topics as the impact of economics on the art, the challenges facing woman seeking recognition in the field, and so on. As an example, your essay may focus on the way the rural farm photography of Walker Evans may have influenced Roosevelt’s desire to develop the Farm Security Administration.

Image Writing (better known as iconography) is the type of writing that chooses to define images through the in depth exploration of the various symbols noted in an artwork selection. For instance, the author points to the subjects in Rembrandt’s “The Assassin” as likely citizens of Holland. But through a more critical examination of the symbols in the painting may actually reveal that the characters in the painting may indeed be recognised as saints.

Formal Analysis will ask the student who has decided to learn how to write an art essay to examine the more formal aspects of a piece of art, and from that to develop a dialogue regarding these parts in a unique or creative fashion to help others see and understand the artwork being examined.

Biographical Essays will allow the writer who has learned how to write an art essay to examine the artist’s personal life and how it influences his or her work. Barnet gives the example of how Ansel Adams had influenced the photographic career of Harry Callahan.

The Iconological Essay (study of an image) uses a variety of texts and literary examples to completely interpret a selected piece of art. As an example, the person who has learned how to write an art essay may chose to use ancient renditions of various Greek mythological tales to enlighten readers on the images representations of that myth as depicted in archaic forms of Greek art.

Strategies Prior to Writing the Essay

Examine the medium – Determine the rationale of the artist for selecting a certain medium, including its advantages and even its limitations.

Use of lines – Did the artist use heavy or light lines? Do the lines run vertically or horizontally? Are the lines curved or straight? Is there a specific goal or outcome achieved by the use of these lines?

Coloration – Does the artist use realistic colours, or are the colours more expressive in nature? Does the colour give the sense of being warm or cool? Perhaps the colours are bright or subdued. If so, what is the overall effect of those colours?

Light – How does the artist employ light? Does the artist use shadows? Perhaps there is a play or interaction between the two, and what message is communicated to the audience of the work?

Space – Is there any sense of space within the work you have selected? Does the visual plane show great depth or is it shallow? What is the arrangement of the shapes used within the space of the work? How does the application of sense impact the artist’s subjects? How might that use of space influence your own response to the art?

Style – Are there any elements within the work which identifies the artists’ specific style, whether it is unique to that artist or common to a specific period?

Composition – Are there any formal aspects or elements of the work which interact with each other? Does the composition of the work convey the theme or idea of the artwork? Does it make your eye travel in a consistent manner across the piece of art? Does the composition of the art influence that movement?

One must always examine the context of the work. Consider when the work was painted, who is the artist and where was the work completed? How have culture or history influenced the work? Does it address any specific historical or cultural matters? As you are learning how to write an art essay, consider writing down questions that you may chose to answer within the scope of your essay. These questions will likely guide your examination of existing library sources. You may also desire to examine and keep any documentation or brochures that the gallery or museum may have available.

Advice for Writers

The student who desires to learn how to write an art essay can approach the work in much the same way he or she may write any other paper. You will need to stay focused on the topic, which includes creating a thesis sentence. You also need to settle on a specific structure. As always, you need to employ proper grammar and organisation, including writing clear and understandable paragraphs.

Yet, when you have learned how to write an art essay, you will also need to understand the conventions utilised in the world of art If you are finding it difficult, take a look at our assignment writing service. However, here are a few tips you may consider when writing your own art essay.

Don’t just describe your work – analyse it as well. One common complaint from university professors is that their students frequently describe the artwork without taking any consideration of the argument which they hope to make. Always consider the final purpose of your writing and then choose to outline the details of your description, allowing them to illustrate both the artwork and your analysis.

One of the common formats used by students who have learned how to write an art essay is to construct the paper so that the actual theme or topic sentence is located at the end of the essay. The traditional student is trained from early on to construct their compositions with the opening paragraph as the holder of the topic sentence. When you know how to write an art essay, you will recognise that it is important to ensure that your details are logical and selected with care and that they help to build to the main point you are attempting to make.

Consider the structure of your writing. If you are discussing a specific art movement, you may desire to use a chronological format. However, if you are discussing the specific elements you see in a piece of art, consider a spatial format for your writing.

And with any piece of quality writing, avoid using “I”. Any student who has mastered the art of how to write an art essay can ensure you that using “I” will detract from your efforts to create a formal piece of writing. That doesn’t mean that your opinion isn’t important, but that your opinion must be stated in a critical and scholarly fashion. You explain your response to the artwork, not your opinion of it.