What is image analysis? Image Description Art

What is image analysis?

The image analysis is an optical, visual description of an image, plus the content and informational aspects that describe the work of art.

What pictures are there to describe?

You can describe all pictures, whether photographed or painted or graphics does not matter. Through image analysis, one learns what features make up an image and one can better understand what the artist wanted to express. All this through the dynamism and impact of an image.

Image analysis art example

When you look at a famous work of art, you are often overwhelmed and don't know exactly where to start, but anyone can analyze images. But how do you start:

You start with the description of the picture art, while you look at what is shown in the picture. What is central? What details do you notice? The title and name of the artist also play a role, as does the date of creation.

Next, look at the texture of the image. Which colors were used? How do these colors work in contrast? How are light and darkness used in the picture. What material was used.
o Red represents danger, blood, love, passion
o Blue for serenity, calm, freshness
o Green for nature and hope
o Yellow stands for power, warmth, luck, envy
o White represents purity, innocence, perfection
o Black stands for mourning, constriction, seclusion

In the next step of viewing the art, observe what genre the image belongs to:
oh graphic
o News picture
or posters
oh movie
o advertising
o Fine arts

At the same time you can see whether a text is available. One can also interpret at this point how one judges what one sees. Who was the picture addressed to? What is the meaning of the work? Why was it created? What was the impression of the audience at that time and how is it now?

In the further course one can describe the intention of the artist and ask oneself whether the chosen title of the work is understandable.

The final part includes a short summary of the main part with the essential features of the picture. A brief opinion of your own to back something up can be supportive. It should also be possible to answer the question of why the artist depicted the picture in such a way.

General Information:

The picture " The Oath of the Horatii " is an oil painting by Jacques Louis David and it was created for the Paris Salon around 1785. The Paris Salon is a national art exhibition that takes place annually. The oil painting has the dimensions of 3.30m x 4.28m. The painting is currently in the Toledo Museum

Image description:

There are eight people in the painting, which can be divided into two groups of people. On the left side of the painting you can see three young men

In the position of an oath by the outstretched arms and standing with one leg forward.

The equipment worn by the young men are helmets, cloaks and a robe. This is Roman war clothing. One of the young men also holds a spear and all three have their faces raised towards an older man wearing a red robe with three swords in his outstretched left hand. On the right side of the picture you can see three women and two children sitting down, looking very worried. Two of the women lean against each other and try to comfort each other, the third woman bends over the children.
The women's clothing consists of a long flowing robe.

Chronological order:

If you look at the data: clothing, architecture and date of origin, then you can assign the painting to an ancient theme. According to a legend, it is about a fight between the three sons of Horatius from Rome and the three Curatii from Alba. The fight served to end the rivalry between the two cities. The picture shows the three sons of Horatius swearing to their father to conquer or die. The father has the attitude as if he were calling the gods to help the sons.
The women that can be seen are a mother, fiancé and sisters of the warriors from Alba.
The building looks very much like an ancient architectural form and the room in which the scene takes place contains elements of Renaissance painting.


The blaze of color in the oil painting is rather recessive: the room and all the people are dominated by an ocher yellow to brown tone. The further you look into the background, the darker the colors become. If you look at the clothes of the people, you see them in red, blue, white. The picture appears very naturalistic, but the red tunic and the red cape are particularly striking. In this case, the red could stand for aggressiveness and enterprising spirit. Because the women wear comparatively weaker colors such as pink, yellow or white.


The beam of light falls in from the top left, which is clearly visible on the wall in the background. The 2-person groups are clearly highlighted in the foreground by the incident light. The shadow of the three sons is oblique, so the light is probably coming from a window. If one looks at Horatius the Father, who directs his gaze towards the window, it could also mean a so-called "divine signal". The background is very dark, where natural light is no longer able to penetrate.

Body and shapes:

The bodies of the people are clearly separated from each other. The tiles are also clearly separated from each other by their lines. Only in the background is the wall not clearly visible. The men offer a striking effect due to their formation, whereas the women have a softer rounded leadership. All in all, the image appears brief and focuses on the essentials.


The representation of the picture is mostly very realistic. The painting technique is oil paint, which is applied in thin layers. Since it is a legend, the representation is not naturalistic, but stylistically represents a stage event.