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A Short Guide to Reading a Painting

By The Museum Outlet 5 years ago 736 Views No comments

paintings and art sculptures

Even a flitting acquaintance with art enriches and deepens your perception towards the world—especially when you proceed to buy paintings and art sculptures online

Art, a great status symbol in the contemporary society, may prove to be intimidating to casual viewers. Oft believed to be a worthless plaything of the rich and famous, art has much more to its credit and serves to be a great source of pleasure in the lives of one and all. Fortunately, the development of a casual understanding of artistic forms is not is difficult as it seems at the very onset. While some people end up devoting their entire lives to the study of the smallest details linked to an artists' work, others may do good with simply a meaningful relationship with the same.

So, before you head to buy oil paintings online or from your preferred licensed museum store, it will do you good to nurture a bit of patience, pay moderate attention to the details, and have a willingness to reflect upon your own feelings. Read on to know more about how to read a painting and appreciate the same. You may like to apply the same ideas to sculptures, drawings, architecture, fashion and other art mediums.

Ways of Approaching and Appreciating Art

There are no laid down rules for saying whether a piece is bad, mediocre, or great: At one time, Van Gogh's work was considered forgettable and amateurish!

Take a Look

Good art appeals to your senses from the very beginning. This does not mean that the painting that inspires you has to be extremely beautiful to be good; it should be able to grab your eye and attention in some way. As some works tend to be intriguing in the subtlest of ways, you need to give the work some moments to do its thing. It is essential to pay attention to its subject matter, use of color, realistic appearance, juxtaposition of objects, visual joke or just about any other discerning factor.

What's in the Subject?

The subject of the painting--whether it is a landscape, fantasy scene, still life, building, animal, city scene, group of people, scene related to a story, or an individual, has to be understood. Some paintings, especially those belonging to the 20th century may be abstract. They may end up showcasing form, color and paint quality, instead of representing reality

Breughel's Tower of Babel

Breughel's Tower of Babel

The painting above, is a masterpiece by Breughel-- Dutch artist, and represents the famous Tower of Babel. While scenes related to the Bible or classical mythology took center stage in the older works, scenes of day-today life became commonplace in the 19th century. To enjoy the painting to its extreme, it's always good to know the story that lingers behind the same.

Look for Symbols

A well-known symbol linked with the Western society, The Tower of Babel represents the disruption of unity in humans and the dangers of pride alike. Unique symbolism is as important as the artist's individual statement. But then, instead of focusing on "what the artist meant", you need to figure out all that the piece says to you.

Style is Important too!

The next essential consideration is style, which essentially leaves the mark of an artist's individual creativity and special skills on the canvas. While certain artists follow well-established and clearly defined styles, others create finely controlled and closely detailed works or simply slap paint haphazardly to create wild, ecstatic effects. Though not as helpful as subject and symbolism, style conveys a lot of meaning to an art viewer. For instance, the famous drip paintings by Jackson Pollock convey freedom and motion, despite being abstract in their purpose of creation.

The Next Step

This blog triggers off your interest in appreciating art. Keep these concepts in mind when you visit a gallery, retail museum outlet, museum or any other place from where you would like to buy oil paintings—you will certainly find something worthwhile.