Critical Analysis Essay

Posted on: 11th May 2023


Critical Analysis Essay that compares and contrast two selected artworks.
Essay should reflect the proper use of vocabulary, themes, and concepts in chapter 1 - 8 in book "World Of Art" 8th edition of Henry M.Sayre 

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This essay is a critical analysis of two artworks. The study compares and contrasts an artwork of Charles Sheeler, an image of New York City and John Noble’s artwork depicting the emotional depictions of the ocean. Both artworks are on a similar media; oil on canvas. Sheeler’s work is called Skyline set up in the year 1950 while Noble’s work goes by the title emotional depictions of the ocean. The creation of Skyline falls around the years of 1920. Sheeler’s Skyline showcases an Image of New York City. The artwork shows a distant image of buildings in a town; the artist used varied colors in his work to show the order and beauty of the modern urban forms. The art’s representation occurs through overlapping forms showing that depict the vast array of the New York City. On the other hand, Noble’s image is made up of solid shapes of the harbour with the broad and colorful form of the sea. The harbour has numerous boats above the waters surrounding the different homesteads on the vicinity. From a distant, trees and a rising sun is seen. This essay provides a critical analysis of two artists and their works. Through art, artists can show the beauty around the world and the importance of different features in the environment and their significance to people.


Both artists have well used essential principles of design in the artwork. Some of the principles used in these artworks comprise of unity, balance, emphasis, rhythm (Sayre 7). The artists have also used some elements of form such as line, shape, color, value, texture, space and pattern. Both artists have embraced the principle of unity in their work. Sheeler’s Skyline has used the principle of unity by incorporating similar images of buildings together to create a focal point (Sayre 7).  On the other hand, Noble has also included many houses with similar shapes all submerged in water creating the feeling of unity among them. The artists have used the principle of unity to emphasize on a pattern by making similar images in the same space and surrounding (Sayre 7). Also, they have incorporated the principle of unity to bring out the different elements such as color, texture and value by ensuring that the art is composed of an equally moderately smooth texture and similar shapes (Sayre 4).  Both the foreground, background and the middle ground look similar embracing the principle of unity.

The artists have also used the principle of emphasis in their work. In artwork, emphasize is an area or at times an object in an artwork that has been utilised by an artist to draw attention also known as the focal point. Noble has used the concept of emphasising by concentrating the number of houses in a body of water with boats to show that the harbour is a focal point. On the other hand, Sheeler has focused the building images in one place to demonstrate that the pictures in the vicinity are a town. Emphasis has been used to organise elements such as color and texture (Sayre 6).  Both artists have used the same colors and line depths in the course of bringing emphasize in their focal points. Moreover, the artists have used the principle of rhythm to put out the pattern. The style’s achievement is through repetition of the same objects and shapes within the artwork.

Regarding contrasting ideas within the artworks, few things within the images are different. Sheeler’s Skyline is smoother in texture when compared to Noble’s emotional depictions of the ocean which is bumpy and less smooth. Also, Sheeler’s has less space as compared to Noble’s artwork which is more spread.                                    


From the outlook of the artist’s work, the artists are trying to bring out different messages. In Noble’s work, he is trying to put out the notion that there is no great difference between the prairie and the ocean. According to him, the composition of the prairie and the sea are somehow similar. Moreover, both the dry land and bodies of water are one thing since they contribute to the general living of humanity. This artwork relates to people and their life as people gain a lot from the land and ocean. The art brings a feeling joy seeing the mighty works of creation. On the other hand, Sheeler brings out the order and beauty of modern urban forms specifically the New York City in this context. He tries to comment on the beautiful vicinity of towns. His artwork relates to people and their lives since people can easily relate to the beautiful region of different cities around the world and the beautiful buildings arranged in an orderly manner. The feelings brought out by these arts are feelings of happiness regarding the beauty of the environment we are residing. The artists chose to work in this manner and make these kinds of artistic decisions to show how art can be employed to represent nature.


Both arts have been well crafted depicting great mastery of the principles and elements of design in art. Moreover, the arts have intrinsic value both to the artists and the targeted audience. They have been beautifully crafted bringing out the beautiful creations in the world. Sheeler’s work shows the proper order of buildings in towns while Noble’s illustrates the interaction between land and water bodies. Through these works, people can learn to appreciate nature and human-made creations in the beautiful world. The works have succeeded in communicating the intended ideas feelings and principles.


In conclusion, both Sheeler and Noble have succeeded in crafting masterpiece artworks. Through these works, they have managed to show their mastery using the principles and elements of art to pass their messages to their target audience. The two artists have numerous similarities in their works with few differing ideas and styles.

    Works Cited

 Sayre, Henry M. A World of Art. , 2016. Print.

Jordan Barney

Jordan Barney

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