Classical Paintings Which Inspired Modern Art Students: How the classics informed and inspired the current crop of masters.
The modern era is built off of our history. As such, it only makes sense that modern art students draw inspiration from classical paintings. There are certain paintings that have set themselves apart for their beauty and technique which earned their way to the position they hold today. Here, we are going to take look at some of these paintings and why they stand out from the crowd.
Why Is It Important to Pay Attention to Classical Paintings?
Before getting right into it, let’s take a look at why observing classical paintings matters a lot for your personal style. Humane as a creature tends to learn from others. When you take a critical look at classic paintings, you are seeing how very talented people use the techniques you’re trying to learn.
There’re many sayings which proclaim learning from mistakes. Enriching yourself is a goal of a lifetime, people were always anxious for perfection. It could be said that it is a global trend, nowadays.
The second reason is that many of these paintings are truly awe-inspiring. Even now, they can move someone to strong emotion and even creating their own works of art.
There are a lot of paintings in the world worthy of everyone’s attention, but let’s say there is an “obligatory list” of masterpieces that every student should study and write an academic work in order to understand and reveal the secrets that are hidden in one or another work of a painter.
And so let’s take a look at this list.
The Arnolfini Wedding
The Arnolfini Wedding was painted by Jan van Eyck in 1434. At first glance, this just seems like another portrait of nobles but with a closer look, there is an impressive touch to the painting.
Behind the main figures themselves, there is a round mirror on the far wall. Within the mirror there is the reflection of an additional two characters – one of which might be van Eyck. This level of detail is incredibly impressive and shows the time and technique that the artist committed to.
The Third of May 1808
If there’s one thing that fuels an artist, it’s a drive to get emotion across and reveal truth. One of the pioneering classical paintings that dedicated itself to truth was The Third of May 1808 by artist Francisco Goya.
Before this painting, most depictions of war were glorified. You’d see plenty of proud warriors cutting through the battlefield or victors holding up swords or waving flags. This painting took a much more realistic view of war. It depicts members of Bonaparte’s army executing opposition via firing squad. There’s no standing hero or bright light. Instead, viewers look upon a scene of the true fear and death that war can bring.
On the opposing side of an artist offering truth, there is the drive to create beauty that draws people to it, in part, thanks to its mystery. The best example of this is also one of the most famous paintings of all time – Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
Mona Lisa is well known for its subject with her sidelong glance and small, quirked smile. It’s made many a viewer wonder who she is and why she’s smiling. It reminds modern art students that it’s alright to focus on beauty without an obvious, in-your-face meaning.
Saturn Devouring His Son
A lot of art focuses on being beautiful but there are classical pieces that remind modern artists that they can blend art and horror. The most famous example of this is the piece by Francisco Goya, Saturn Devouring His Son. It takes its inspiration from Roman mythology and creates a bone-chilling piece that many take inspiration from to this day.
With no doubts it is just a slight version of review on classical paintings and artists, as there are dozens of them. You can always search for the nearest galleries to take your portion of classics, but online reviews remain useful as well.
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To Sum Up
There is a lot to be learned from the classic paintings of yesteryear. The paintings we’ve looked at here are some of the most inspirational that today’s students should take the time to appreciate.