Describe the meaning of the image as a whole.

The visual principle of gestalt, pioneered by German Max Wertheimer, is one of great importance in the design world. The statement, “The whole is different than the sum of it’s parts”, summarizes much of the gestalt theory. In this assignment we’ll explore this statment in detail.


Choose a famous work of art.  Look closely at the image and identify several of the individual elements within the image. Imagine the removal of one of these elements. How would the meaning of the image change? Remove a second. With two elements missing, how does the meaning change again?


In a brief 2-3 page analysis, identify the image you chose. Describe the meaning of the image as a whole. Then describe the meaning of the image as the first element is removed and again after the second is removed. What does this exercise show you in terms of how imagery can be used in media?

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