The Love of Art.

Essay by jll26College, UndergraduateA+, January 2004

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The Love of Art.

There is no more blessed influence affecting the world than the love of art. It is never individual in its operation, never selfishly confined to the object upon which it was first directed; but it releases like the atmosphere, radiates like light, embracing, spreading, and changing all surrounding things.

When artist sits down to draw a painting, he really must look inside himself. Sadness or happiness should be felt through the painting. But sometimes people get a different idea of the painting. I suppose, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Artist may have been sad when he painted the picture, but he may make somebody happy. So to say, what he felt when he painted the picture may not be what other people perceive.

Exploring John Berger's "Ways of Seeing" (1972) caused me to revise the way I feel and think about art.

Berger (b.1926), known primarily as an author of art criticism and fiction, is also a poet, essayist, translator, playwright and screenwriter. Art, to John Berger, is the most complex and rich human creative activity. The art object, whatever it is, sums up the spiritual and physical nature of man. At the same time, the work of art is by its very nature an existential event of unique dialectical unity. Berger's interest is not art-historical or analytical, but an interest in what is the most profound existential creative situation that man is capable of reaching.

Let us consider a typical example of art - painting. The objective here is to unearth certain principles of painting which give esthetic meaning to the art. Such principles are like the elements of music where the terms note, interval, counterpoint, etc., have specific meanings. In painting there are principles of space-relation, tension, rhythm, balance,