Does One Truly Know Art?

Morgan Mucha, Staff Reporter

Art is everywhere at all times. It is in the home you live in and the school you learn in. It is all around you! Though it is surrounding each and every one of us, do you truly know art and all that it holds? In the dictionary, it’s described as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. Though this is true, there is also one key factor that the definition fails to recognize. It is that art is within all of us, while also surrounding us. Art is not only a material thing, but a mindset and a feeling, which can only be expressed in the ways we know art can be expressed, such as paintings and drawings. It can even be literature and the concept of beauty. Now that we properly defined art, a few paintings will be brought up to connect the definition of art to the piece. All of these pieces were produced within the Renaissance era. This was between the 14th to 17th century. It describes the rebirth of Europe in all aspects. The first piece that will be looked at today is the Lute-Player by Caravaggio. He was an extremely talented painter who used his artistic expression in an extremely unique way. In the painting, the musician is surrounded in a smoke of black that almost swallows the hands of the player. The emotional power this piece holds is incredible. Just looking into the lute-player’s eyes, you can see the hardship of the times. The next piece that we will be discussing is the self-portrait painting by and of Leonardo Da Vinci. This painting shows the Renaissance master and how he looked in a first account way. When viewing the portrait, you can see the determination in his eyes. He was more than just a normal artist, he was also a scientist, engineer, theorist, sculptor, and architect. He also had personal notebooks that depict illustrations of natural things within the world, such as flowers and animals. These can be viewed today. The last piece that will be discussed is The School of Athens by Raphael. Raphael depicted the main group of philosophers, like Aristotle and Sophocles, arguing over theories and ideas about how Athens should be ruled and the morals that should be taken account of. The most interesting part of this piece is that when Raphael was in the painting process, he took inspiration from his fellow painter friends, such as Da Vinci. This may be why some figures present in this painting resemble some of the major artists of his time. Overall, art has been around for centuries and is still continuing to be understood. Renaissance art opens the mind to the times the pieces were created and what exactly was going on. Once you understand art, the historical context follows. Keep learning about past pieces of art, and you are sure to become intrigued!