“To see” places are not for everybody

Why does the majority of the population visit museums? The pitiful truth is that people only visit museums for the sake of it.

Unfortunately, after visiting  let’s say the Louvre people will go back home proud of seeing something so famous. But they forget that the point is not only to see something so famous, but to get certain messages out of pieces of art. This is exactly like reading a book just to say you read it: a complete waste of time.

Throughout history art was the sole way to express your feelings. Paintings, sculptures and so on are not just a beautiful work for your eyes to see, they are a life story for your heart to feel. Each work of art has a story behind it, and it tries to send a certain message.

Let’s approach a more concrete example. Pallas and the Centaur by Botticelli.Image

This is a beautiful metaphor for a battle between ration and animal instincts within human beings. The Centaur represents the ‘animal’ part of the human being and also the rational part, so the dual nature all men have. Conscious of his faults, the Centaur looks  at the goddess of wisdom, Pallas Atena. It so happens that not long ago I had the opportunity to see it with my own eyes, at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. But I was appalled to hear that people understood nothing of this magnificent metaphor, and made such comments as “Wow, they believed in centaurs, how stupid”. And it is not their fault that they do not understand, not everybody takes an interest in art. But then again, if you don’t care why bother to come? This is just a mere attempt to give a concrete example (my lack of sleep does not allow me to focus properly) but you get the point. Everything is made for a reason and if we look a little closer we might be amazed by what we discover.

So my piece of advice would be: do not go to museums if you’re not interested in  the subject nor wish to learn more.

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3 responses to ““To see” places are not for everybody

  1. also these are the people who take pictures of themselves in front of great works of art, then don’t stand back to look at it with their own eyes. All they want is the proof that they were there, not the experience.

  2. The matter is infinitely more complicated. Visual art, especially the Renaissance type, is not addressed to the proletariat or the philistines, so the key to understanding its purpose well rests in its comparison with a wider-spread counterpart: writing. Alas, few are those who genuinely grip the similar essence of the two: literature, much like paintings, requires the knowledge of a certain code to deliver the message. Now, people rarely treat a Botticelli as if it were an oil story mainly because this idea of “art containing messages” has lost its (metaphorically said) tangibility. And here starts an extensive dissertation on several subjects converged…

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