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How to Evaluate a Work of Art

By Mariam Dzadzamia


It is important to know how to evaluate the artwork while visiting the museum. Works of art, specifically paintings, can be distinguished by several criteria. Basically, these are the genre, medium and era in which the work was created.

When looking at different genres, it is first important to know what the genre serves. For example, Cubism is a revolutionary new approach to representing reality invented  around 1907. Also, we should not miss the main representatives of this sequence. For example, the world recognized Pablo Picasso as the father of Cubism, but with him, Paul Cézanne also started to see existing objects in a cubic perspective and offered us a lot of experimental works.

From Claude Monet's unfinished painting "Impression, Sunrise" one of the outstanding trends of all time was born: Impressionism. It can be considered a genre where the shade of feelings is best reflected. Thanks to him, character presentation is very effective. Claude Monet also conducted a similar experiment many times, when he painted exactly the same place several times in a year. At first glance, the illogical palette of colors combined with a momentary impression gives great importance to the moments in which the painting was created. All works of Impressionism are a kind of color change.

One of the most important components distinguishing a painting is the medium, that is, the material with which the work is made. Currently, the most popular are oil and acrylic paints. Natural dyes have been used since ancient times. The possibilities of this medium are truly endless. It can be used to represent all genres of painting. It's hard-drying ability allows the artist to work longer and in detail on the painting, and the flexibility of its thickness allows us to better define the relief level on the work. We can also mix more pigments with oil. Interesting facts about pigment:

1. In DACH countries, Germany (D), Austria (A), and Switzerland (CH), paintings with orange color mixed in were more expensive, because the import of this pigment was expensive.

2. One of the brown tones of Eugene Delacroix's painting "Liberty Leads the People" has a pigment that contains a powdered mummy.

It is impossible to make an informational circle when comparing or observing a painting without knowing in which era it was painted. Along with the change of history and the passage of time, the ideology and style of artists approached their work. The Renaissance is essentially a revival of classical philosophy in the Middle Ages, which permeated all spheres.

This period is the rise of the classics. This is followed by the more refined Baroque period, which was characterized by a high level of focus on intricate detail, high-contrast elements, and an elevation of spatial perspective.

Today we are in the era of modern art where there is a boom in experimentation. It is up to us how we set boundaries or how we do without them. It can be said that it is a corridor of colors and ideas that overwhelms everyone who approaches it.

Despite all this, in order to get a full impression of the work, we should not forget the importance of having information about the artists. In the end, these people, their personal lives, their experiences and their personalities give us the most important information about the work. And the most important thing? Don't forget that all this will make sense when the love of art and respect for it awakens in you.


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