Comparing Formalism & 'Art for Art's' Sake


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What technological invention in the 19th century was at least partly responsible for forcing people to justify the existence of art?

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1. What is the basis of Formalism?

2. Which of these is not part of a formalist analysis of a painting?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Should we study a piece of art down to the brushstrokes or should we just stand back and let it wash over us? Your answer to that question holds the key to whether you're a formalist or a proponent of 'art for art's sake.' Test your understanding of these two views on art with our interactive quiz.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

These assets will assess your knowledge of the following terms, phrases and facts:

  • 'Art for art's sake'
  • Formalism
  • 19th-century invention that sparked discussion on the meaning and purpose of art

Skills Practiced

Use these skills when working with the worksheet and quiz:

  • Critical thinking - apply relevant concepts to examine information about art in a different light
  • Interpreting information - verify that you can read information regarding a formal analysis of a painting
  • Distinguishing differences - compare and contrast topics from the lesson, such as the view of 'art for art's sake' and formalism

Additional Learning

The corresponding lesson, Comparing Formalism & 'Art for Art's' Sake, will provide more information on these two schools of art analysis, and will prepare you to:

  • Compare the formalism and 'art for art's sake' movements' views on art as symbolism
  • Analyze a painting using both interpretations of art presented
  • Discuss the different opinions that formalists and bohemians have on the purpose of art