what is visual literacy in art and why is it important ?


Writing about art involves processes of knowledge and response to the visual image – i.e. visualliteracy .

Let’s look at what visual literacy is in art analysis, its meaning and its importance in the communication process.

Learn more about this subject in the online course Analysing Art.

what is visual literacy ?

The simplest definition we can give for visual literacy is the ability to understand an image. o que é literacia visual visual literacy

and what is visual literacy in art?

But visual literacy not only involves the process of assimilating and understanding the message of the work of art.

It is the process of thinking that may be involved in the construction and/or manipulation of an image.

Therefore, it has to do also with being able to discuss about the work of art: the production of a discourse on the representations.

o que é literacia visual 2 visual literacy
The verbalization of an image involves the transformation of something visual into words that are understood by others and thus creating a coherent discourse using the articulation of established knowledge (related to the piece, creative process, expressiveness, historical and cultural context, iconography …).

Visual literacy

What is visual literacy in the communication process?

Writing about art forces us to observe with double or even triple the attention the work that is before us and what it may awaken in us (and therefore what it might reflect of our own selves, as an individual or society).

Thus, writing or commenting on a particular work or artistic production of an author as a whole can sometimes seem intimidating.Analysing art The girl with the pearl earring

There is so much to say within the own languages ​​of the different types of art, as seen above, as there is in the one original thought of each artist.

Above all, what strikes us is that not all messages are clear – Heidegger told us: “The work is a symbol.”

This symbol was created by the artist, it has its own language, a rhetoric that seeks to convince us of an idea; that persuades or seduces us.

Rhetoric, the art of discourse, becomes visual to show us through figures of speech (such as metaphors, analogies, etc., but now visual) what the artist wants to communicate.

When analysing a work of art, certain elements present in it are emphasized so that the information contained in it is properly ‘deciphered’.

how to analyse a work of art, whatever its nature?

When analysing a work of art, certain elements present in it are emphasized so that the information contained in it is properly ‘deciphered’.

Thus the viewer will understand better the work and what the artist intended to convey.

The analysis may be objective (or visual), which describes the elements as they are viewed, or subjective (or symbolic), which describes our feelings when viewing the work.

We can also analyze a work under a formal point of view (or aesthetic) that analyses all the visual syntax (composition), including historical context, theme, and organization of the elements – which involves a more comprehensive search.

Since a reading can vary according to the sensations that may be caused in each of us by the work of art, some base elements are established when reading it.

Therefore, certain common criteria must be taken into account: timetechniquetheme and resources used by the artist.

Lesson 1. Analysing Art

a)      Reading / Interpreting

b)      Writing about Art: concepts of visual rhetoric and visual literacy

Lesson 2. Painting

a)      Elements of formal analysis

b)      Contents: iconography and symbolism

c)       Themes in painting

Lesson 3. Sculpture

a)      Elements of formal analysis

b)      Types of sculpture

Lesson 4. Architecture

a)      Elements of formal analysis

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