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.