Examining a Picture

You have made use of images in the Beowulf passage assignmentand you will continue to do this in the next two assignments, the passageanalysis and character analysis. What we ask you to do is to include ananalysis of [an image of] a painting related to one of these assignmentsand link it to your work.

To do the analysis, you will make use of what is termed an imagemap. An image map allows you, the creator of the HTMLdocument, to designate portions of an image as distinct links. Here isan image.

Dinner on a Winter's Evening
From The Da Costa Hours (M. 399, F.9v)
Bruges, ca. 1515 by Simon Bening
From The Pierpont Morgan Library

If you move the mouse over the image, you can observe that in certainplaces, the mouse pointer turns into a hand. If you click on these areasin the image, the browser will go to the designated places. In thiscase, the hyperlinks are to places within this same document. The HTMLtags to implement this are the img tag and the map tag. Inthe img tag, you must add the usemap parameter to indicate wherethe map information is stored. The map tag is used to encapsulatea set of area tags that indicate the distinct areas. In the examplesupplied here, we use the rect parameter to indicate a rectangulararea.

The area information is given in pixels. How do you know what the pixelpositions are for the area you want to designate? There are special mappingprograms to generate this information. However, you can also use draw programssuch as Paint Shop Pro.

Possible Questions

The purpose of this assignment, like many of the other assignments in thecourse, is for you to practice using the medium of the Web, namely, imagesand hyperlinks AND for you to study, reflect on and express yourself onthe literary and historical content. The second part of the purpose isthe most important. Here are things for you to think about when writingabout the picture you select.

Examples of questions applying to the whole picture:

Other questions apply to portions of the image. These are the ones to usefor the image map.These are sample questions only. Your picture and your knowledge of thetexts may suggest others.

Comments on details in the painting

You may choose to place these comments in individual files. In this example,I use the a tag with the name parameter to name a sectionof a document. The browser does not try to make the name section show upat the top of the page, so when you link to the comments section, you mayfind that the same text appears.

In your exposition, you may make use of additional images, links andmore and better prose. Here, for each comment, I used an appropriate portionof the original image that I selected and copy-and-pasted into a new imageusing Paint Shop Pro.

People in the Middle Ages keptcats as pets and also to keep down the mice in the house. This one is warmingherself by the fire next to the head of the household. Cats did serve apractical function then as now.

Did you expect to see a cat in these paintings? You may use choose towrite about your own expectations and surprises. You may also compare ourtimes with earlier eras.

A woman is preparing the meal.She is probably the wife of the man by the fire. This would be typicalof the era shown and other times in history! Notice her clothes, especiallythe head covering. You may want to compare styles of clothing in the differentpictures that you see. Styles may have changed more slowly in the MiddleAges than in our own era.

A man, presumably the headof the household, is warming himself by the fire. His clothes are trimmedin fur. The clothes and the leisure are indications of wealth.

You can tell that this isa servant by the plain clothes and, possibly, the hat. He is helping thewoman set out the food for the dinner.

In the brightly lit hallway,a child appears to be playing. The artist's use of light definitely callsattention to this part of the painting. You may want to speculate on whatthe purpose was.