Part Three – Exercise 3.4: Origins

Write 10 sentences containing any of the following words: origin, original or originality.

Is the meaning much the same in each example or are there significant differences? Briefly comment on your findings.

Meaning of origin, original and originality


  1. The origin of the world is unknown
  2. The origin of the river Rhine is far away in the Alps
  3. The artist was copying an original artwork
  4. The originality of the work need to be questioned
  5. The gallery sells only original work
  6. Sherrie Levine’s appropriation of original photographs by Evans Walker are challenging the question of authenticity and originality.
  7. Modernist origins goes back the Enlightment and industrial revolution.
  8. The word ‘origin’ is of Latin origin, from ‘oriri – to rise’.
  9. Democracy has its origin in ancient Greek philosophy
  10. The original of the sculpture is in private property
  11. Her appearance was of great originality.
  12. Her artworks convinced through originality and innovative handling of paint.
  13. The student is truly an original at school



  • Origin has typically the meaning of the beginning, the source of something.
  • Original typically refers to authentic works,  not copied, and non-derivative. In art, the hand of the artist in its making is one condition of proof. Often considers as the model for copies. It also can have the meaning of being different, unique (persons).
  • Originality can have various meanings. Either of being original (objects), having independent or innovative thoughts or behaviour (ideas), or having fresh appeal (person)


  • Merriam-Webster (2017) ‘Origin, Original, Originality’, Merriam-Webster [online], Available from: [accessed 13 July 2017].
  • Shiff, R. (2003) ‘Originality’, in: Nelson, R. S. and Shiff, R. (eds.) Critical Terms for Art History, Chicago: University of Chicago Press,  pp. 145 – 159. 10.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: