Most of the information that a person perceives is visual information. That is why paintings are much more accessible for understanding to an ordinary person. However, this does not mean that every person can appreciate art. When looking at an image, you can understand what is displayed on it. Still, to understand the meanings hidden behind each image, you need special education and experience. The purpose of this essay is to examine this phenomenon of changing the perception of art through education, exemplified by Peter Blume’s “The Eternal City.”
At first glance, for a person who does not have any art experience, this picture may seem very surreal. A lot of different forms are mixed on the canvas, part of which stands out and contrasts with the general background. The lack of a clear and explicit plot are confusing, and slightly interfere with the perception of the picture as a whole. However, this illusion of entanglement is destroyed by detailed examination of the canvas. Several distinct groups of objects can be distinguished, each of which carries a particular meaning.
This can be done even by merely observing and analyzing the things that stand out, whether it is a green head or a group of broken figures. To recognize the meaning of hiding behind them, you need to know the background of the picture. In other words, you need to have specialized education and some experience in analyzing paintings.
With this education, the images depicted become much more transparent, and the perception of the picture changes almost entirely. The story hidden behind this picture is a real trip of the artist to the ruins of the times of Ancient Rome. This trip dates back to 1932, and by that time, Mussolini had already reigned for several years. Among the ancient ruins, Blume came across an image of a dictator, as well as a picture of Christ, decorated with many trinkets. Returning to America, the artist worked on the canvas for several years, checking every detail, and this is evident in the fantastic clarity of the image.
Having the appropriate education, you can understand what exactly the artist wanted to say in each of the details. The whole environment sends us precisely to the Ancient Roman Forum, which the artist visited. The background represents all of Italy, which serves as the basis for the picture. The most prominent element is the green head, which immediately catches the eye due to its alienness. It is safe to say that this head represents Mussolini. His regime, which is alien to Italy, literally and figuratively hangs like an evil threat over the people who are depicted under this head. On the other side of the head are the ruined and broken antique statues, which in this context embody the ideals and values of the old country.
Thus, from this analysis, I can conclude that the availability of education and experience affected my perception of art, making it more in-depth. However, a change in perception also entailed a shift in values, their definition. With the help of a deeper awareness of art, pages of history are opened that I would otherwise not have touched. Various essential topics are raised that require reflection and discussion. All this ultimately leads to a revision of values such as, for example, human freedom. On the canvas of Blume, Italy is figuratively depicted under the oppression of Mussolini, which makes us think about tyranny as a phenomenon and helps to value freedom even more.
Thus, getting special education, having experience working with paintings undoubtedly changes the perception of art and makes you relate to it differently. However, in addition to this, this process also changes the person, their views and beliefs. Working with art makes one think about a variety of things from history to human life, helps to raise problem topics and discuss them, and in this discussion, ultimately, truth is born, and new values are determined.