Can I really appreciate a work of Art?

Grant Snider

Indeed visual art is an extremely subjective topic. How does one appreciate the beauty relying on own opinion. Are there any tricks to it? Surly the world’s history can provide us some hints. As any science it could be classified by time (when was it created), style (what technics and materials were used to create it) and relevance (what author was trying to achieve) , and that would help you to understand art.


Art history goes a long way towards the cave paintings. It evolves trough ancient Greece in western world and China in Asia. You should keep in mind that all the way throughout it’s development visual art was a mirror of culture. Tribal sculptures (totems) and cave drawings with charcoal progresses in ancient temples, much more developed sculptures and architecture, and forming of murals. And a big part of culture for a long time was, and still is in some places, religion. By 14th-15th century the two-dimensional church paintings progresses towards Renaissance, when artists developed knowledge of perspective. That’s the time of establishing “classic” pictorial art, including Baroque and  Romanticism, the styles concentrated on three main types of art: still life, portrait and scenery. Later towards 18th and 19th centuries the Impressionism and it’s younger brother Modernism appear, where artists trying to reflect not only the surroundings but the mood, feelings and spirit of the epoch. Particularly that intention gives birth to abstract and contemporary art.



In the ancient times there was not that much variety of materials. How do you thing what was used?

But with evolution of humanity the technics appeared and new materials were invented. Like colors, for example were maid out of chemicals, stones and oil.  Each stroke of paint consists of pigment—essentially. How do you think what technics were there? Were there different tools used in every different time?

The fact that each stroke of paint can influence the spirit of the painting in viscous way is fascinating. How do you think is the value of the painting depending directly on painter’s capability to use each technic perfectly?


Connection to society was one of the main ideas in art of any time. Visual art nowadays offers s new perspective on things we often take for granted. Looking at it we need to consider many factors: form, shape, texture, line, color and value. The impression that painting gives us is much more important than the content depicted. Can you name any controversial examples?

Art Factory – useful link on more detailed art history


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