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Discover The Profound Effects Of Great Art
I have created these six free mini e-books for you to discover that there is more to great art than cleverly arranged pigments and stone. Through these e-books you will re-discover what people have known for thousands of years and what scientists have now proven; that how we see art reduces stress and anxiety, broadens your perceptions beyond their usual scope, and changes you and the reality you experience.
The meaning in a great work of art is always woven together with its material presence and something else through and beyond its material form. When we discover how to really look at art we are able to hold a double vision and are transformed in the process. Caravaggio painted this image of Narcissus for a private patron, a wealthy Roman nobleman – and tells a story like all great art does.
Leonardo da Vinci
Arguably, this is the most famous painting in the world. But with the millions of eyes that visit her room in The Louvre, Paris each year, an average of just fifteen seconds is spent in her gaze before moving on to the next work of art. To the Renaissance eye this image was alive and animate. Art is not merely an object to be glanced at or ticked off a checklist. Looking at this painting as something which is animate and alive, changes our experience from a distanced spectator to something participatory and dynamic – and the image alters from a static object to be analysed to a living being.
Venus and Mars:
Botticelli’s painting of Venus and Mars was created to help open the eyes to the art of seeing and reading paintings. Frederick Franck, painter, sculptor and spiritual teacher said “No wonder once the art of seeing is lost, meaning is lost, and all life seems ever more meaningless.” We know how to read a book and get lost in the other reality of the imagination and we engage in music and are moved by it, but have we forgotten our visionary ability when it comes to art?
Georges de la Tour
The Angel Appears to Saint Joseph in a Dream:
This painting presents a threshold between the real and the imagined or visionary dream world. It is perhaps the exquisite rendition of candlelight, through its beauty and ethereal nature, which sparks the light in us drawing out a compassionate, attentive response.
Art changes depending on how we see it, depending on the type of attention we pay to it – and when it sparks our attention it reminds us of what we have forgotten in life or never even realised was there.
The School Of Athens:
The School of Athens really epitomises the spirit of the Renaissance at this time: it was a coming together of geometric and mathematical science with art, the image; it was time when perspectival space was re-discovered and developed further, to draw the viewer in through the imagination while at the same time establishing the viewer as a spectator in time and place, a sort of opening of a double vision if you like.
John Singer Sargent
Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose:
Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose Singer Sargent is really considered to be an American/ British Impressionist painter because that is what he is really interested in here; capturing the beautiful light at dusk and the emotional effect of that light. It is an enchanting painting which evokes so many different feelings; we see two girls lost in their moments of play and discovery of the lanterns. This is a joyful image, visceral, which awakens the senses as we can almost smell the scent of the flowers – perhaps you even can. At the same time it is tinged with the sense of the fleetingness of time.
We do not want to lose or dismiss historical fact and information altogether; these provide a solid foundation for getting to know a work of art better. Instead facts can be re-woven back into the broader context of the senses, imaginative, emotional and spiritual responses, philosophical insight, and where metaphor, myth and meaning allow us to see the bigger picture as well as appreciate the beauty or detail of what is before us.
View an example:
Painting by Leonardo da Vinci
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“Mary is clearly a teacher and communicator of the highest calibre.”
Mary Attwood BA (hons) MA
Mary Attwood is an art historian, author, lecturer and teacher and was the founding Chairman of the Victoria branch of The Arts Society, London, a membership charity dedicated to enriching peoples’ lives through the arts. She is also a qualified teacher in lifelong learning and a Yoga Alliance registered yoga, meditation and mindfulness teacher. She has also worked as creator, producer, publicist and script writer for her own production company and created an award winning line of wellness DVDs, training courses and has ghost written two books published by Watkins.
Mary holds an MA with distinction in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred where her thesis, Rebirthing a Lost Vision of Renaissance Art, researched different epistemologies of art and images from a broad context of ancient Greek philosophy, the neuroscientific approach of Dr Iain McGilchrist’s groundbreaking research on the difference of attention of left and right hemispheres of the brain, archetypal psychology of Drs C.G. Jung and J. Hillman and Renaissance artistic approaches. This is currently being transcribed into a book. She also holds a BA honours degree in the History of Art, University of London, where her studies focused on Italian late Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture.