Monday, April 22, 2019

C2 Sample Essay 30 (Labelling works of art masterpieces)
Writing at C2 level (Proficient User) on English language examinations is the same no matter the awarding body when it comes to writing essays. If you are a candidate giving an exam in English (IELTS, CPE, ECPE, CELP, LRN, ESB, TOEFL), make sure you read my earlier post What do I do with the sample writing found on this blog? to get the most out of the sample essays provided on Argute Legacy.  

  The topic of this essay is to discuss the opinion that in the last 100 years, the quality of artwork has declined and that it is now easier for works of art that do not exhibit a painter's remarkable skill or are nothing out of the ordinary to be labeled masterpieces while true masterpieces go unremarked. If you are not taking an exam but need to discuss this topic, then read on and note down what you deem useful. If you intend to use this essay as part of an assignment, remember to paraphrase so as not to plagiarize.

The topic is similar to what candidates expect in any other C2-level examination in that examiners want to see a well-organized, coherent and cohesive discussion of the issue with arguments and examples written in approximately half an hour. Whether or not you agree with the viewpoint expressed, remember that
what yields a higher score is the way a subject is argued, so if you see that you come up with more ideas for the side of the argument you disagree with during the brainstorming phase, it doesn't matter -- simply go ahead and plead that side of the argument.

For those who'd like to read more sample essays and useful essay-writing posts, click on the image below.

To be labeled a ‘Work of Art’, a painting, sculpture or other art form should display certain qualities that are unique. However, over the past century there has been a decline in the quality of prize-winning artwork and it is now possible for quite ordinary pieces of art to be labeled ‘masterpieces’ whilst true works of art pass unnoticed. Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer.

          Art is one of those controversial subjects, like literature for instance, which raises questions about its importance or its status. However, the most problematic of all issues concerning this field is the legitimacy of calling a work of art a masterpiece. Lately, the work that is being produced by artists which is awarded the title ‘masterpiece’ is seen by many as exactly the opposite. 

          It is difficult for someone who has not studied art to be able to voice their opinion on it. This is one of the arguments any ordinary person might give if asked what their opinion on today’s so-called masterpieces is. They would say that experts know better and since they are the ones who judge artwork, they are fit to judge its greatness. Besides, if the simple layman does not understand the meaning behind a painting or sculpture which has been labeled a masterpiece, that does not mean that it is not. The personal message each work of art transmits is exactly that – personal – and cannot be negatively criticized because of the incompetence of an amateur.

          On the other hand however, art to be truly great, should appeal to everyone, in the sense that it should speak to even the simplest of individuals. Being unique entails that the message or feelings roused in others are unique. That, in my opinion, is the criterion on which a masterpiece should be founded. What is more, it is not difficult to see how certain critics promote a piece for obscure reasons, be they financial or ones connected to private interests, to the detriment of other true artwork. 

          It is therefore my belief that on this very controversial and personal subject of what constitutes a great work of art, the answer lies in part with the few critics who honestly view an artwork and have the insight to see whether it will live on through time as a masterpiece. Besides them, it is up to the amateur to be able to see through promotion gimmicks and try to find greatness in other, lesser known pieces.

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