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BellaOnline's Art Appreciation Editor

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How To View Art


Viewing art can be done in an innocent, naive way, as that of a child or neophyte, or the same art objects can be seen by a better informed critic.
Why not define your encounter with art in a deeper, more spiritual way?

I find it helpful to learn about the artistís life, the reason for creating art, and why they hold an important place in the history of Art. Only then will you experience this connection with the artist, nature, and ultimately a higher being.

Have you ever thought about the possibility of divine intervention with the worldís great artists?

In 1996 I traveled to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. to view the Vermeer exhibit. That was truly a highlight in my quest for experiencing great art.

After viewing these extraordinary paintings by the only true "painter of light," in my opinion, I was struck by emotion, thinking I had experienced something beyond my human comprehension. How else can I explain the genius of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Vermeer, and others?

I try to be open minded when viewing art, but I do turn "thumbs down" on a lot of art. In other words, I donít love all art, I am discerning.

When observing art, I like to look close up, and also from a distance. Keep in mind that the way the painting is hung, is done at the artistís request. You could view a Jackson Pollack and think maybe itís upside down, but alas, thatís the way it is supposed to be viewed.

By viewing art "close up," it allows you to examine brush strokes and slight nuances. Is it "impasto" as in the work by Rembrandt or Van Gogh? Or is the medium "pastel" as used by Degas?

One of my favorite paintings is Leonardo Da Vinciís "Genevra de' Benci," from the National Gallery of Art. Upon close inspection, one can see the blush in her cheeks, the shine on her curly hair, the look in her eyes. This painting, done on wood, was said by a fellow observer to be far more beautiful than the "Mona Lisa." I have not yet visited the Louvre, but I hope to someday make the comparison myself and draw my own conclusion. It has been said that the eyes of the "Mona Lisa" follow you from wherever you are in the room.

How we ultimately view art is a very personal experience, based on our attitudes and knowledge.

If you look at the flower, Jack in the Pulpit, painted by Georgia OíKeefe and see only a flower, thatís OK. But there have been many other interpretations of her work, including female genitalia. Farfetched? Perhaps, but thatís the beauty of viewing art, itís what you want it to be. Available here from Art.com.


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Content copyright © 2014 by Camille Gizzarelli. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Camille Gizzarelli. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Camille Gizzarelli for details.

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