Art historian: More than any other genre of representational painting, still–life painting lends itself naturally to...

Milo on August 3 at 07:32PM

General Explanation Wanted

There is a lot going on in this question and it’s hard to follow. It would be helpful to get an explanation but also suggestions for how to approach questions this convoluted.

1 Reply

Ravi on August 3 at 08:58PM

@Milo-Hammer,

Happy to help. Let's take a look.

The argument is comparing genres of representation painting and
arguing that still-life painting is the best for self-expression. The
reason the author gives is that the artist can always manipulate the
scene to be painted. From this, we can infer that in other types of
representational paintings, the artist may not always be able to
manipulate the painting/scene to her liking.

We're looking for the answer choice that is most strongly supported by
the art historian's statements. In this type of question, one of the
answer choices will have support in the stimulus, and the other four
answer choices will not have support.

When you're not able to diagram the stimulus, try to find how the
statements are related to each other in the stimulus. In general, weak
answer choices are more likely to be correct, as they're easier to be
supported by the stimulus. Make sure that the answer you choose
properly characterizes the relationship between things the argument.

For this question, we recognized that there is a relationship between
the first and second statements of the argument.

(D) says, "In genres of representational painting other than
still-life painting, the artist does not always choose, modify, and
arrange the objects to be painted."

(D) is great. The big reason that still-life painting is the best form
of expression in the representational painting genre is that it gives
the painter a choice to design the scene as wanted. As noted above,
this implies that other types of representational paintings do not
always give the painter this level of freedom to construct a
landscape. Thus, (D) is the correct answer choice.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any other questions!