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SSI1-163: Becoming Modern: Paris 1870-1900

In-class Exercise: Evaluating Images

Compare the following two images of Two Dancers on a Stage by Edgar Degas:

Two Dancers on a Stage (Artstor)

Two Dancers on a Stage (

As you examine these images, consider the following. Be prepared to report your findings to the class!

  • Rate the image resolution. Are the details of the image clear or grainy? Which one is a higher quality image?
  • Are the colors, light, and balance accurate?
  • Can you tell if the image has been cropped or otherwise manipulated? If yes, in what way?
  • Comment on the image size. Is it large enough for study and research?
  • What information is provided about the image? Artist? Date? Original size? Medium? Where the image originally came from?
  • Are there copyright or other use restrictions? Explain.


ARTstor is a large collection of digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences from museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, and artists and artists' estates.  

You must register for an account to use many of Artstor’s features, such as downloading images, curating groups of images, and downloading groups of images to PowerPoint. Images in Artstor come from a wide range of sources, and many of them are under copyright. Registered accounts ensure that Artstor meets its agreements with image contributors and protect their content, and also enable you to assembled personalized content like image groups.

Use the link below to begin your search.


There are different ways you can search for content in Artstor:

  • Browse by geography, classification, or collection
  • Keyword and filtered search
  • Advanced search - Use advanced search when you know what you are looking for. Select one or several keywords, such as an artist’s name or a specific work, and choose which metadata fields you would like to search (default is to search all fields).

Google Arts & Culture

Oxford Art Online

Oxford Art Online

Covers biographies, criticism, country surveys, artistic styles and movements, art forms, subject matter and iconography, and techniques.

Note: Limit of 3 simultaneous users.

Oxford Reference Art & Architecture

Oxford Reference Art & Architecture

Includes these sources for an overview of art related topics.



Use the resources on this page to locate information related to your role in the Reacting to the Past game. Your goal is to find

  • two high-quality images associated with your role (either something your artist produced or, for critics and dealers, something produced by an artist you are associated with).
  • background information about the role you will play. What is your character known for and which ideas, movements, or artists are they associated with?


Use Artstor and/or Google Arts & Culture to locate images of artworks by the following artists:

William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier

Jean-Léon Gérôme

Jules Adolphe Breton 

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes

Gustave Moreau

Claude Monet

Edgar Degas

Berthe Morisot 

Camille Pissarro 

Georges Seurat

Paul Cézanne

Vincent Van Gogh 

Paul Gauguin 

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 

Mary Cassatt 


To find information about 19th century art critics and dealers, use Oxford Art Online or Oxford Reference:

Albert Aurier

Félix Fénéon

Joris-Karl Huysmans

Joséphin Péladan

Georges Petit

Paul Durand-Ruel

Search Primo

Search Collins+Summit+Articles

Featured Resources for Critics

Exhibition Catalogs

Exhibition catalogs are publications which document a museum exhibit and can be valuable resources for learning more about a particular artist and their work. These collections often include a mixture of primary and secondary sources such as: Artists' statements; Essays about the artists; work; Artists' biographies including exhibition and award history; Images of the artists' work. 

How to Find:

  • Search Primo using the phrase "exhibition catalogs"

Catalogue Raisonné

Catalogues raisonnés provide thorough, reasoned and systematic documentation of all works by an artist – the oeuvre – in a given medium (such as painting, sculpture, works on paper) or all media known at the time when the catalogue is prepared. Use catalogues raisonnés to find reproductions, critical assessment, scholarly essays, and bibliographies.

How to find:

  • Search Primo using the phrase "Catalogues raisonnés"

MLA Style for Images

Works of art are sources in the same way that texts are sources. This means that you need to include artwork in your "Works Cited" list and reference artwork in in-text parenthetical citations.

Follow the general MLA guidelines for art, then add in additional information about online access.

Artist. Title of Work. Date of Composition or N.d. Collection, City where located. URL. 

If the medium and/or materials (e.g., oil on canvas) are important to the reference, you can include this information at the end of the entry. However, it is not required.

For photographic reproductions of artwork (e.g. images of artwork in a book), cite the bibliographic information as above followed by the information for the source in which the photograph appears, including page or reference numbers (plate, figure, etc.).



The citation generator within Artstor provides the following:

Paul Cézanne. A Modern Olympia. 1873-1874. Artstor,​

Note that this is incomplete. You need italicize the title of the work. You also need to add in additional information, which you can get from the detail page within Artstor. Here is the full citation in MLA style:

Paul Cézanne. A Modern Olympia. 1873-1874. Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Artstor, Oil on canvas. 46x55cm. 


In-text citations:

Your in-text citations need to be keyed to your "Works Cited" list.

The first time you cite the image, provide the artist's surname and the full title:

(Cézanne, Self-Portrait with a Pink Background)

If you are citing no other works by Cézanne that begin with "Self-Portrait," you can shorten subsequent in-text citations to just:

(Cézanne Self-Portrait)

However, if you are citing more than one "Self-Portrait," then continue to use the full title.