I like the Holidays to be synonymous with the idea of peace, so as imagined, I've spent the last week with Fisk and few close friends and loved ones. Burning through favorite movies/recipes/and Xmas dinner has allowed for enough rest and relaxation to really consider my options for the next year. I've decided that I'd love to learn more about art history, and having spent 45 minutes in the art history department at The Strand, I figured I should start with the classic,The Story of Art, by E.H.Gombrich. I figure, preferred genres of art will appear after reading, and I can delve into those more deeply - instead of buying the largest history of art textbook imaginable. I've had a lot of fun reading parts of this book out loud, and really revisiting a lot of wonderful ideas about art. If you're looking for a book to help you understand whatever this thing called art is, this book is a great place to start. Here are a few good quotes from the introduction.
Pg.6 "The trouble about beauty is that tastes and standards of what is beautiful vary so much... ...What is true of beauty is also true of expression. In fact, it is often the expression of a figure in the painting which makes us like or loathe a work. Some people like an expression which they can easily understand, and which therefore moves them profoundly."
Pg.10 "There is no greater obstacle to the enjoyment of great works of art than our unwillingness to discard habits and prejudices. A painting which represents a familiar subject in an unexpected way is often condemned for no better reason than that it does not seem right."
Pg. 17 "Admittedly, taste in art is something infinitely more complex than taste in food and drink. It is not only a matter of discovering various subtle flavors; it is something more serious and more important. After all, the great masters have given their all in these works, they have suffered for them, sweated blood over them, and the least they have a right to ask of us if that we try to understand what they wanted to do."
Good & Great! I'll bring you more details from this book as I read through it. Happy Holidays.