Chinese Art History Research Paper Prompts

First, we need to understand what primary and secondary sources are. 

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later. Primary sources are characterized by their content, regardless of whether they are available in original format, in microfilm/microfiche, in digital format, or in published format. (Primary Sources at Yale: http://www.yale.edu/collections_collaborative/primarysources/primarysources.html)

To find more information about primary sources, how to find primary sources, go to Primary Source Guide. 

Secondary Sources are materials that digest, analyze, evaluate and interpret inforamtion contained within primary sources or other secondary sources. Examples of secondary sources are:

  • Books, such as biographies (not autobiographies), textbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks

  • Articles, such literature reviews, commentaries, research articles in all subject disciplines

  • Criticism of works in literature, art and music

You want to find a list of secondary source materials relevant to your topic, or if necessary, you need to conduct a literature review to get a list of essential books and articles for your topic.  The purposes of starting your research with secondary sources are:

  • to find background information about your topic
  • to be aware of scholarly research in teh area of your topic
  • to be able to narrow down or broaden your topic

Subject encyclopedias, text book, databases, and CLIO Notes in America: History & Life and Historical Abstracts are all good places to start your secondary sources research.


Have to do a history art essay today? Don’t be sad! Here you have a little help with a topic for your awesome essay!

  • Artistic display of realism in creativity of Gustave Courbet.
  • The appearance of Gala and her influence on Dali’s life and art.
  • The problem of historical continuity of antiquity and the Renaissance. Protorenessans.
  • The main directions of modern art in Europe.
  • Images of Orpheus and Eurydice in different arts.
  • The history of postcards in the world. Modern postcards.
  • Hanging gardens of Babylon – history and representation in art.
  • Analysis of the ancient Egyptian murals composition on the example of two or three monuments from different periods.
  • The art of Christo and Jeanne Claude.
  • The costumes of the Italian early Renaissance in 1420-1490.
  • It features of English portrait of 18th century.
  • Arts of High Italian Renaissance masters. Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Artistic culture of ancient Greece during the Archaic and early classics.
  • US Style and design (20th century) – Pop Art, Commercial Photography
  • The ancient American civilization. Mayan tribes.
  • Comparative analysis of sculpture Doryphoros of Polykleitos and sculpture by David of Donatello.
  • Features of Amarna period ancient Egypt art.
  • History of art castings on examples of wonders of world.
  • Arts Cubism in art of George Braque.
  • Chinese art in the era of feudalism.
  • Oriental style – impact of Chinese and Japanese art on European culture.
  • Costume as a cultural phenomenon. Traditional costume in China and Japan.
  • Japan: the art of netsuke miniatures.
  • Comparative analysis of Mikhail Vrubel and Gustave Moreau art.
  • Raphael and Michelangelo – comparative portrait of the Renaissance.
  • Fauvism and expressionism – the similarities and differences of techniques.
  • Composition and space solution features in Flemish and Dutch still life in 17th century
  • Portraits of artists in Western European engraving of 16-18th century.
  • Features of experimental art in 20th century.
  • Expressionism in Western European art (group Fauves in France).
  • Comparison of the Romanesque cloisters plans with ancient peristyle courtyard.
  •  Art of Egypt. The ancient kingdom. Architecture.
  • Constructivism in art and its influence on the formation of a new architecture.
  • Ornamental style in medieval armor and weapons.
  • Sistine ceiling by Michelangelo: idea and realization. 36. The main stages of the St. Peter’s Basilica construction.
  • Artistic and stylistic features of Art Nouveau and Art Deco textile.
  • Creative work of Frida Kahlo in European art in the middle of the 20th century.
  • Comparative analysis and description of Van Gogh “The Red Vineyard at Arles” (1888) and Gauguin “Picking Fruit” (1899).
  • Biblical and mythological theme in the works of Rubens.
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