Module 3: Context and Perspective

Learning Objectives

  • Define three basic types of perspective and how they impact interpretations of an artwork
  • Recognize different types of context and how contextual information can broaden our understanding of art
  • Recognize and describe six different critical modalities that art critics use to analyze and interpret artwork
  • Analyze and discuss artwork in relation to two different cultures; explain how those two cultures are linked from a wider, global perspective
  • Recognize what a symbol is and differentiate how semiotics and iconography are used to decipher symbols in artwork and other types of visual culture


Contexts are the circumstances and background that form the setting for any kind of communication, including art, and the interpretation of its meaning(s). All artworks exist in multiple contexts. Considering different contexts can form analytical lenses through which to view and interpret an artwork.