An Example of Emotional Insight (Van Gogh)

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Van Gogh’s “Almond Blossoms” There is certainly quite a bit in art that can be appreciated with one’s intellectual ability. Here is an example, from Van Gogh. Van Gogh gave this painting to his brother Theo on the occasion of the birth of Theo’s son. Van Gogh wrote to Theo: I should have greatly preferred him to call the boy … Read More

An Example of Emotional Insight (from David)

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Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David

Jacques-Louis David’s “Napoleon Crossing the Alps” A work of art contains intellectual insights, of course. But the power of a work of art, and the reason people still love it centuries after it has come into existence, is in its emotional insight. Let’s have a look at an example in one of the most famous paintings in the world: Jacques-Louis … Read More

An Example of Emotional Insight (from Renoir)

Vik RubenfeldPainting2 Comments

Here’s one of the most famous paintings in the world—Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party”. You’ve probably seen reproductions of it many times. But there’s something you may never have noticed about it before.

An Example of Emotional Insight (from Shakespeare)

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Olivia Husssey in Zeffirelli’s Production of “Romeo and Juliet” In the previous post, “Fundamentals,” we began talking about what it is that a work of art communicates: emotional insight. Let’s look at another example. This one is super-famous. Romeo:  But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. That is pretty easy … Read More


Vik RubenfeldPoem2 Comments

Nothing is more fundamental to the subject at hand, than the question of what it is that art communicates. My teacher, the great Mrs. Bettina Olivier, taught that: Art is form; art is the form of emotional insight. Emotional insight communicates the emotion, and the meaning of the emotion. Let’s think about that for a second: “the meaning of the emotion.” … Read More

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):