Visual Analysis Essay: Everything You Have To Know

visual analysis essay

Whether you have handled a visual analysis essay before or not, this post is relevant for you. It will give you fresh and top-grade visual analysis ideas to get you on the leaderboard.

Journey with me then as we make writing visual analysis essays faster and easier!

What is a Visual Analysis Essay?

By way of definition, a visual analysis essay describes and discusses a given visual display (or image) and its composition in depth.

Your lecturer expects you to carefully analyze the various elements of an image and how they bring out the intended message.

Now, there are standard design elements that are key to this type of essay. These are:

  • Shape,
  • Color,
  • Line, and
  • Size.

Using these principles of design, you will provide a detailed description of the image in question. I can’t wait to tell you how the Monalisa portrait would fit into such an essay. Imagine how Leonardo da Vinci incorporated all these aspects to come up with such a masterpiece drawing!

We are only but starting. Let us move on to some soft meat.

Visual Analysis Essay Example

Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royale” chapter in Invisible Man provides a rich ground for analysis. Importantly, Ellison is writing about the topic of how rights for African-Americans developed over the course of history. He writes about the experience of being black in an America that often makes that more difficult than it should be. Ellison had a deep understanding not only of the existing civil rights environment, but also the history that gave it context. With that in mind, he was able to connect the past to the present in a way that was supremely compelling. This particular work is all about his process of learning who he was and what his purpose was in a world that may have wanted to strip him of any dignity. With this in mind, “Battle Royale” shows that the ghosts of slavery still haunted African-Americans, who may have been nominally “accepted,” but had not yet achieve social equality in an altogether racist society.

The meaning of the text begins with the scene in which Ellison is haunted by the ghost of his grandfather. His grandfather had come up during slavery, and thus, the deathbed scene in which Ellison’s character grapples with his grandfather’s legacy is meant to serve as a symbol for the bigger struggle for black rights. Ultimately Ralph Ellison understands that although slavery may have been gone, it was still around, impacting everything that happened to black people in their interactions with society, with power structures, and also with white people, as well. Interestingly, Ellison comes to understand that the vestiges of slavery are the very things that allow him to become an invisible man. He is not seen as fully human with a wide range of compelling interests. Rather, he is seen as a person who is just there to entertain white people. By using the ghost of his grandfather to show this, the author is communicating how African-Americans at that time had no choice but to live and grapple with the realities of history. Slavery was all around them, and it had not really been defeated at that point. Instead, it was just laying idle and creating additional barriers that the people had to clear.

The author writes to demonstrate that social equality was far away for African-Americans. The imagery of the boxing match he had to engage in is one way in which he shows this. He does not know it when he agrees, but when he shows up to the celebration with a bunch of old white men, he is not just there to receive a scholarship. He is also there to be a part of a show that keeps these people entertained. Because it is a boxing match, he is still being treated not as a full person, but as a body to be used at will by powerful white people according to their own whims. This links closely to slavery, as well. The use of black bodies for white gain was a long-running theme in America, and linking a boxing match to white enjoyment is another of the critical ways in which the author goes about demonstrating this important truth. Likewise, that he got a scholarship to a “negro” school showed that even though some progress had been made, black people were still being held back.

In a number of ways, Ellison in this chapter conveys meaning. He uses the scene of a dying grandfather to convey how temporally close slavery was and how it never truly left the African-Americans who were under its hold. By using the boxing match, he showed the continued exploitation of black bodies that seemingly never stopped.

How To Write a Visual Analysis Essay Like a Pro

We have to note that such an essay is in the following subject areas:

  • History,
  • Journalism
  • Art History,
  • Photography
  • English courses
  • Painting

I am sure some are already groaning, ‘but I don’t major in any those subjects, does it mean I am disadvantaged?’ Not at all, dear reader. With what we are about to discuss, you will find a visual analysis essay the easiest. Even if you are taking a course in Engineering, you can do it!

So how do you write a visual analysis like a guru? Follow the outline below and have your question answered:

  • The introduction

Arouse your reader with basic but interesting facts about the piece of art or the artist. Now, how do you start a visual analysis essay? With:

  • A vivid description of the image
  • The inspiration behind the art
  • What the artist purposed to communicate with the image
  • A peculiar and fantastic fact about the art or artist

Remember to give a thesis statement that will tell the meaning of visual art.

  • The body

It is where you explore the various elements of the painting or picture in detail. The body should originate from your thesis statement. Here is how to write a visual analysis essay body paragraph:

  • Have a claim (topic sentence)
  • Provide evidence
  • Provide a specific connection between your argument and the thesis statement

Ensure that you exhaust every element fully and its relation to the image in the body section.

  • Conclusion

After analyzing the visual image, provide your opinions and thoughts on the work. Perhaps you can use the ideas below to sweeten your visual analysis essay conclusion:

  • Criticism from people on the piece of art
  • Are there other similar images? If so, how do they compare?
  • What is the difference between the first reception to the image and that of today?

Either way, do not introduce any new ideas in this part. Only restate and emphasize what you have discussed in the body.

And that is how to write a visual analysis essay, easy-peasy! You can ask for a visual analysis essay example from our expert writers to familiarize themselves with the structure. For your information, we have the best minds there are in visual analysis!

What To Look At in A Visual Analysis Essay

Whenever college students want to analyze a visual image, they get stuck at the pointers. Herein are some of the professionally handpicked aspects that you will have to zoom in your binoculars to:

  • What is the purpose of the artist?
  • Who was his audience in mind when drawing the image or portrait?
  • How has he composed the various elements of the image?
  • Historically, where does the image lie in context?
  • When was the image viewed?

These and many more should inspire you to write a compelling and award-winning visual analysis essay.

Tip-Top Visual Analysis Essay Topics

On top of our visual analysis essay examples, we also have a plethora of top-notch topics:

  1. The controversy surrounding the Monalisa painting
  2. Visual analysis of ‘The Starry Night’ by Vincent van Gogh
  3. ‘The Birth of Venus’ – Did Sandro Botticelli go too far?
  4. Why Michelangelo’s ‘Creation of Adam’ is the most replicated image in history
  5. Who was the audience of “The Night Watch”?
  6. A critical analysis of “American Gothic”.
  7. What was Pablo’s intention in ‘Guernica’?
  8. Impact of ‘The Last Supper’ on religious imagery

We can give more examples of visual analysis essay topics at your request.

Writing a visual analysis essay doesn’t have to make you lose some pounds. You can seek our custom essay writing help and get it done sooner than you know.

Give it a try.

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