Leaving Certificate Art History and Appreciation

Joanna – Higher Level

When I opened the art paper, I panicked. No Raphael and an Iron Age artefact that I didn’t like. To top it off, an art gallery question about a local gallery, so basically the two visits to the national gallery and knowing the Carravagio in there inside out were all worthless! Not to mention the mini biography on Raphael that I had drilled into my head that morning, which felt beyond useless. What now?

I took a few deep breaths and looked over the paper again. Okay, the Iron age question had a trick about ‘a change’ during the iron age, so they were looking to compare Insular La Tene to Ultimate La Tene in relation to the Petrie crown, and although that wasn’t my favourite piece of Pre-Christian metalwork, the question itself was actually grand. Then the Renaissance question was about Leonardo da Vinci who I normally skipped during revision because he’s more of an ordinary level artist (I was told) which essentially means he’s too easy. But now, I could turn that around and use all the fancy words I had prepared for Raphael, like chiaroscurro and contraposto, and just sub them into a nice essay about how talented Leonardo was in relation to his famous ‘Madonna of the Rocks’ and then a bit about the Mona Lisa. Grand. I can honestly say, it was pretty easy, although the sketches took ages.

For the local gallery question I had an epiphany about the time when. During the Polska Eire festival, a Polish artist was displaying his and his friend’s work in Raheny library. Perfect! I used the bones of that experience to draft an essay and then fleshed it out with a bit of personal creativity. I have to say, my sketches were not bad at all compared to how badly I usually draw under pressure, so by the end of the two and half hour session I was really happy to seal my paper and hand it up.

In the end, there was no need to panic. Now I have four days off before Chemistry and Polish and that’s it, woo!

Have a good weekend everyone, I’m off to catch up on this weeks sleep 🙂

Isabelle – Higher Level

I was really tired today after History yesterday, and I didn’t get to study last night at all, and so this morning was quite stressful for me! I hadn’t really studied properly for art history since before the mocks so it was quite a shock this morning trying to cram everything in! It was touch and go as to whether or not I’d even be able to attempt an answer at a question but luckily Gothic architecture and Early Christian metalwork which were two of the 5 topics I had covered that morning came up (seriously lucky). I always answer the art appreciation on the museum, with an answer learned off about the national gallery and 2 paintings in the European exhibition, but I was extremely disappointed when I saw it asked for a ‘local gallery’ specifically. However, I was much too tired to attempt to think of a design for a roadside sculpture, so I insisted on making my essay work and discussed how wonderful it is to live in Dublin and have such great museums in my locality’s! Hopefully they’ll buy it, but even if they don’t, it’s only 5 marks out of 50 for naming the right gallery according to past marking schemes, and the whole exams only worth 37.5% anyway, so I’m not too worried!

Now for a lovely (very necessary) 4 day break until Spanish.

Please note: Blog posts reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union.

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