Cezanne’s Breathtaking Painting, “Lake Annecy”

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This one goes out to my Twitter [email protected], who also likes Cezanne. This Cezanne painting is breathtaking, even as an image on a web page. You feel exactly the beauty of seeing that same scene for yourself. Cezanne painted the view from his hotel room. What’s so fascinating, of course, is that you could take a photo of the same … Read More

Emotional Insight in an Amazing Painting by Rousseau

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This is one of Rousseau’s most famous paintings – “Tiger in a Tropical Storm.” Rousseau’s paintings pack a big emotional wallop. You feel the fear, the desperation of the tiger. The white light on the top of the tiger’s head and on the nearby leaves shows the light of a lighting bolt that is alarming him. You feel sympathy for the … Read More

Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”

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Today we’ll have a look at one of the most famous paintings of all time, Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.”  It depicts the moment when Jesus has just informed the disciples that one of them will betray him. The first thing you notice, as a way of finding your way in to the emotional meaning of the painting, is that … Read More

Emotional Insight in Caravaggio’s “The Denial of St. Peter”

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The Denial of St. Peter, by Caravaggio

“The Denial of St. Peter”, by Caravaggio Regular readers of this site know that I try to find big, easy-to-get with examples of emotional insight. Emotional insight is what a work of art communicates: insights into the meaning of things that your heart — your heart alone — sees. Today we’re going to be looking at a painting by Caravaggio.

The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Rembrandt

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The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Rembrandt Here’s the story of the prodigal son from the Bible. It’s quite moving. 11 And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13 … Read More

What It Feels Like to Live in 1650 (Emotional Insight from Vermeer)

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Looking at this painting fills me with emotions like those I might have if I were actually there witnessing the thing it depicts. I feel for that milkmaid. It looks to me like she recently handwashed all of her clothes, but there’s dirt from much use that just won’t come out. But look how carefully, faithfully, diligently she’s doing her … Read More