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.