I believe that the art history is important for every person, especially for the ones who deal with art to some extent. It is not important just because our ancestors made it, and we have to be familiar with our roots. It offers much more than that, and it is not just beneficial to us in terms of pleasant view – there is much more in it, which can be spotted if we look closer at the art history. In this paper, I will explain my view of the art history and understanding why it is important for me to study it.
First of all, I think that all the people should study art history to learn from it some important lessons. We can find out a lot about how people lived in the past, how our civilization developed, how the views and priorities were changing. It will help us not only to be well-developed people, but also will show some problems and mistakes that were in the past and that we can avoid if we are aware of them. However, I think that it is not an easy task for a person to find these lessons in the history as it is necessary to analyze the material, distinguish some tendencies and only then make conclusions and see some important realities. If the necessary work is conducted, it is worthy of all the efforts, as it is always better to learn from someone else’s mistakes, than your own.
Another important feature that art history provides to us is an opportunity for vast personal development. With the help of studying this subject, we can learn how to compare different works, analyze different details. We can indeed understand the essence of the art itself, as when comparing and viewing different pieces from various periods of time, we will see how many components art has, and in how many dimensions it is possible to perceive it. It is beneficial for many aspects of our lives, as these qualities and skills are overall useful for us.
What I particularly like about art and its history, is an opportunity to find out more about myself. Thus, I can not only develop some important characteristics and skills, but also see what is important to me, get better acquainted with myself. I can see some important issues for me just by watching some artwork and analyzing my feelings to it, my perception of it. It is a great way to work on yourself and find your place in this life.
I want to emphasize that art history is especially important in today’s fast-changing world. First, it can serve as an oasis of beauty and tranquility, that is usually very sought for and valued today. Second, our world today is becoming more and more visual – we can see better and better pictures around us, advertising, design, etc. It is necessary to look deeper at these artworks, as it allows us to feel more comfortable in this situation and better understand the things that are happening around us and with us.
Moreover, studying art history is very interesting as it is – with all the various forms of art that existed, with the beauty and wisdom instilled in it. I am sure that even without detailed analysis of some pieces of artwork, it is interesting just to view it, hold it in hands if it is possible. It adds to the sense of belonging to our own period, to the sense that behind every one of us there is a powerful background that can help us if it noticed and studied.
There are forgotten pages in the history, which are fraught with observations, animated in connection with matters of the modern art, and they deserve to be revived in the scientific reality – in fact, in its preparation, they certainly participated. Artworks from the past can seem alien to us, strange, incongruous forms, alive in colors. Meanwhile, this thing is a real vivid world of beauty. However, to understand it, the criticism, the viewer should be able to be reincarnated in some mysterious way: there is required willpower to influence imagination and feel in the environment, in which the thing appeared.
Not all the people know that there is an amazing, eternal and inevitable relationship between the form and its action. These few are not engaged in criticism; they only contemplate the work of art and its study. They are well aware that beauty cannot be banal – it is always unusual. Beauty cannot be controlled otherwise, except for the risk to destroy it with utopian rules developed in a small scientist temple somewhere on the Earth. These rare lucky ones know how deeply valuable is the line, as it puts into life movement in the composition plan and puts it in its inherent colorful environment. They feel the glow of paint and its warmth.
Of course, for someone who understands the form and its impact, who admires complicated life lines and feels that paint makes you think, makes you dream, and the plot has no value. Wolfflin rightly notes in this regard that to understand the Japanese pattern, you need to learn the Japanese approach to art. Art that is foreign to us, like an ancient Indian architecture, simply is not mastered by the customary view of Europeans or Americans. The matter is not in the fact, whether we find it beautiful or not, but we still must first develop a special organ, sensitive to its formal effects.
But, if not for everyone understands formally Japan, China, India, the monuments of art of which our eyes accustomed to since the XVII century, the more difficult for us the perception and correct assessment of less familiar to us eastern countries. For example, the art of Siam, where the walls are covered with frescoes of Buddhist temples, like soft carpets, over windows and doorways are raised decorations in the form of pagodas or pointed hats of Cambodian rajas. Or Javanese art, monuments of which entered our everyday life art still less than thrilling sculpture of Buddhist temple in Konark of the XIII century. The same is true, for example, about the art of the old Persia: only in recent years in the West, people began to pay attention to the subtle, like the petals of a magical flower, Persian miniatures.
If we translate our view from East to South Africa, we will face new difficulties for the perception of artistic works. Meanwhile, blacks Benin art, monuments that so successfully publish Frobenius and Lushan, are undoubtedly technically interesting material, in many ways more significant than Guatemala or artistic monuments of Easter Island. This black art is interesting not because it is part of European goods, for example, by Picasso – it is important for his artistic integrity: it is perfectly possible to observe not only the manifestation of a kind of archaic, but also learn basic shapes, peculiar plastic, explore tectonic laws belonging to the wooden sculpture.
Art History. Guide to Art History, n.d. Web. 25 May 2014.
Duncan, Carol, and Alan Wallach. “The universal survey museum.” Art History 3.4 (1980): 448-469. Print.
Holly, Michael Ann. Panofsky and the foundations of art history. Cornell University Press, 1985. Print.
Shusterman, Richard. Pragmatist aesthetics: Living beauty, rethinking art. Vol. 27. Oxford: Blackwell, 1992. Print.
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