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Leaving Certificate: Art

Students will be required to answer four papers as follows:

>Imaginative Composition or Still Life, two hours, 100 marks, 25pc

The paper will consist of a descriptive passage which will be open to interpretation as either an imaginative composition or a still-life study.

>Design, two hours, or Craftwork, five hours, 100 marks, 25pc

Design: The paper will consist of a passage of prose which may be used as the basis for a design (on paper) for a specific craft.

Craftwork: Students will be required to carry out a design in the actual material for a craft.

>Life Sketching, one hour, 50 marks, 12.5pc

Students will be required to make two sketches of the model. The first will be a pose of 15 minutes in which students are required to do a drawing of the complete figure (from head to toe).

The second will be a more fully worked drawing taking approximately 30 minutes.

>History and Appreciation of Art, two and a half hours, 50 marks, 37.5pc

This is a written examination in three sections:

Section I (Art in Ireland), Section II (European Art 1000 AD-Present) and Section III (Appreciation of Art). Answer three questions, one from each section. All questions carry equal marks (generally 40 for written information and 10 for sketches), so give 45 minutes to each, with 15 minutes to look over your work.

In each section you will have chosen topics to cover. As the Art History course is so vast (from the Stone Age up to the present day) it is only possible to cover certain topics in each section. It is important that you know these topics very well.

SECTION I: Choose at least one of the following areas to study in detail:

>Pre-Christian Ireland

The Stone Age: 7000-2000 BC; the Bronze Age: 2000-500 BC; the Iron Age: 500 BC-400 AD

>The Christian Celtic period

Early Christian Ireland: 5th and 6th centuries; high Christian Ireland: 7th and 8th centuries; the Viking invasions: 9th and 10th centuries; The Medieval Period: 11th and 12th centuries.

>Georgian Ireland (18th century)

Architecture and the decorative arts.

>19th and 20th century Irish artists.

SECTION II: Choose at least one of the following areas to study in detail.

> Medieval Europe

Romanesque architecture and sculpture; Gothic architecture and sculpture; 14th century sculpture and painting.

>Italian Renaissance

Painting and sculpture; architecture.

>Impressionism and Art Movements of the 20th-century

Impressionist painters; post-impressionist painters; Fauvism; Cubism; Expressionism; Dada and Surrealism.

SECTION III: Choose at least one of the following areas to study in detail.

>Gallery/museum/heritage centre and exhibition visit.

> Design: Graphic Design; Interior Design; Product Design.

>Film/animation Appreciation

>Public Sculpture

>Architecture, public spaces (parks/town squares/playgrounds etc).


>Know your dates.

>Background information:

Include information on the life of the people of that time/period: Where did they originate? Where did they live? What type of structures did they live in? What was their work? What were their beliefs? What were their burial customs? Did they have any influences from abroad?

>Discuss artefacts: Name the artefact. Where was it found? What function had it? What materials and techniques were used to make it? Describe the shape and structure. Describe decoration used — use any relevant terminology.

>Include your own personal opinions.

>Include relevant, labelled and annotated illustrations.



>Know your dates.

>Background information:

Discuss the country in which the artist/art movement came from. What influenced the artist/art movement? When was the artist born/died? Where did the artist study/apprentice to? Was there an artists’ group/art movement?

>Painting/sculpture: Name the artist. When was the artwork made? Subject matter; composition; technique (use relevant terminology); use of colour (warm/cool, primary, complementary) etc.

>Include your own personal opinions.

>Include relevant labelled and annotated illustrations.


Outlined below is an example of how you might approach the product design question.

>General background information: Ergonomics; explain what you understand to be design; a brief history of the development of the product, fashions and trends etc.

>Discussion of your product: Function, durability, suitability of materials, appearance, safety, cost.

>Opinions and suggestions: Suggest improvements or ways in which you would redesign it and why? Refer to examples that you have studied.

>Include relevant, labelled and annotated illustrations in your answers.