Leaving Cert Art students across the country sat the written component of their exam, the History and Appreciation of Art paper which accounts for 37.5% of the marks for the subject, this afternoon.
Again this exam proved that predications cannot always be relied on as many students looked at the paper in disbelief at the absence of a question on Newgrange in the first section on “Art in Ireland”. Instead students were given a choice of seven questions on topics ranging from the human figure in Irish manuscripts to Irish architects and their works to “Image of Bono” by Louis le brocquy.
Section 2 on European Art gave students an array of options with a question on the influence of the Christian church on the development of art and architecture during the Romanesque period followed by a question on the Italian piece of artwork, “The Flagellation of Christ” by Piero della Francesca. Among other questions was one which required students to discuss the much celebrated French painter, Paul Cézanne, as a major innovator in the history of painting. There was also a particularly broad question on the work of Raphael which any students that had studied Raphael in any kind of detail would have been able to make an attempt at so it is likely that this question will have proved popular with students.
Appreciation of Art makes up the third and final section of the paper with Graffiti showing what would have once been considered to be its ugly head in question one. Students who chose this question were asked to discuss the ‘outsider’ status of graffiti and how this has changed since international graffiti artists such as Banksy have begun to exhibit their work in galleries. Question two had an Ikea-esque tone to it with the benefits of self-assembly furniture for living spaces up for discussion here. The need to preserve our architectural heritage and fashion design featured in the third and fifth sections of this section with a nice, youthful twist to the fashion design question. Many students will be disappointed on the question on art galleries which many would have been banking on as although the first part of the question was nice, the second part of the question asked students to compare their visit to a local art-gallery referred to in the first part of the question to a visit to a named national museum or gallery – students living in rural areas that had not prepared a visit to a national art gallery will have been at a disadvantage in this question.
Over all, the paper covered a wide range of topics so candidates were not stuck for variety in the questions on offer but those relying on predictions will have been disappointed with this paper.