How to Read a Work of Art and... Why?

True understanding and appreciation of a work of art is proportional to the number of reading levels we can achieve. Visual, stylistic, iconographical, historical and social characteristics reveal a kaleidoscope of links to the fabric of a particular culture. If you miss these you are only seeing one small piece of the puzzle.

If you have already fallen for a particular image but you want to know how to go beyond the thrill of love at “first sight” …or if you simply cannot warm to a work of art and would like to realize why it could still be extremely significant…this is the art experience for you!
I believe true art has a universal language, regardless of its cultural origin or time frame. A Japanese screen can be just as communicative and beautiful as an Italian Renaissance portrait, an African mask, or a French Art Nouveau lamp. But if we never learn the alphabet of this wonderful world of art, these works will appear to be fragmented. To find the missing pieces and make these images whole again within ourselves, we must take the time to go beyond the surface, be aware of the artistic syntax.

Tired of walking aimlessly through endless museum halls and coming away with nothing of substance? Slow down. Choose a single work in each room instinctively, and pay close attention to its clues.

"How to read a work of art and why"

is an introductory guide to the basic elements of observation, analysis and interpretation.
However, it is also full of practical tips about how to make the most of your next gallery or museum visit.
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