Site Launch Post

Vik RubenfeldNovel, Painting, Play, Poem2 Comments

Vermeer’s “The Art of Painting”

The consciousness of what makes a work of art has been won and lost by civilizations repeatedly throughout the ages.

In civilizations where that consciousness is widespread among the public, many timeless works of art are produced. A few examples (a very partial and incomplete list):

  • The ancient Greeks, producing the great plays of Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Euripides, Sophocles, as well as the epic poems of Hesiod and Homer.
  • England in the 1600’s, producing possibly the greatest of all, Shakespeare, as well as Marlowe, and many others.
  • France in the 1600’s, producing the great playwrights and novelists, including Moliere, Corneille, and many more.
  • Russia in the 1800’s, producing an astonishing series of novelists, including Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Gogol, and many more.
  • France in the 1800’s, producing a wealth of spectacular painters and novelists: Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Courbet, Rousseau, Dumas, Hugo, Proust, and on and on and on.
  • England in the 1800’s and 1900’s, and continuing to this day, producing so many wonderful novelists, including Dickens, Trollope, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Wilkie Collins, Lewis Carroll, George Eliot, P.G. Wodehouse, and on and on and on.
  • America in the 1800’s and 1900’s, and continuing to this day, producing so many wonderful novelists, including James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and on and on and on.
On this blog we will look into where the beauty of art comes from.  We will seek to learn about how to create and how to appreciate a work of art. Join me on this adventure, and add to it with your thoughts and comments!

2 Comments on “Site Launch Post”

  1. Very worthy sentiments. I figure art is an attempt to express a wide variety of emotional and personal sentiments in a singular medium or joint media; however, due to humanity’s inherent tendency to group for the security of numbers, art often informs and underlies a group’s overall identity, as any jointly appreciated activity can.

    Thus the undeniable lack of ability to measure art in any qualitative terms; it truly is in the eye of the beholder, as opposed to popular reception, a commercial yardstick.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Lowell. You make a very important point. There is an undeniable lack of ability to measure art. At the same time, as I try to show in the examples on this site, there is such a thing as achievement in art that can be appreciated and felt, even thought it can’t be intellectually measured as you point out. This is why the work of Shakespeare, Verdi, Henry Fielding, Van Gogh, and so many others, is appreciated and loved to this day.

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