Today, 15th April, is the birthday of Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the most innovative thinkers of all time. Hence I thought of revisiting some journeys in art, while remembering Vinci who has given the world some of the most recognizable faces of art.
While reading a write up about “ An exhibition at St.Edward’s college,Cottonera Malta” http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120401/education/Exhibition-by-St-Edward-s-6th-formers.413564 I had some discussions with my sons regarding Art and Aesthetics and remembered some trips in Libya
Two sixth formers at St Edward’s College, Cottonera – Asma Dekna and Rebecca Xuereb – recently exhibited about 30 works of art at the college.
The exhibition formed part of their assessment at the end of their two-year International Baccalaureate in Visual Arts course at the college under the direction of art teacher Denise Papagiorcopulo.
Longing 1 is a romantic sunrise of great beauty that the student retrieved from the subconscious of Asma’s childhood in Libya.
Rebecca Xuereb makes her mark with Music Within, an autobiographical work showing the artist passionately playing the piano. This canvas painting is in strong contrast of black standing bold against white inspired by piano keys. This sharp contrast is complemented by a colourful palette scheme reserved for the outburst of surreal musical forms emerging from the piano’s interior.
Art work on trips around Libya
These journeys made me remember the person who is generally regarded as the first systematic art historian- the German art historian-critic Johann Winckelmann. He was an archeologist by training with a deep knowledge of antiquity. I works such as
“Reflections on the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks (1765)) http://archive.org/stream/reflectionsonpai00winc#page/6/mode/2up
And The History of Ancient Art-(1764)
Another interesting perspective is given in this article
Winckelmann divided: mourning the death of art history.
Winckelmann idealized Greek art for its “Noble simplicity and quiet grandeur” and in the process he helped bring about the rise of neoclassicism in the arts.
Discussion revisiting issues of aesthetics
I got more involved into the meanings of aesthetics after taking a basic course in photography from School of Fototechik, Delhi under the photographer and teacher, Tirtha Das Gupta, who has evolved a rich community of artists, photographers, around his school which he has sustained against great odds through the years.
Aesthetics is the science of how things are known by and through the senses (defined by Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten in 1735) taste using different perspectives, of geography, landscape, the written and spoken word, imagery-art, paintings, history and numbers to name a few headings under which we can concentrate on the beauty around us.
In 1790, Immanuel Kant defined Aesthetics in his essay-Critique of Reason. For Kant, ‘enjoyment is the result when pleasure arises from sensation, but judging something to be ‘beautiful’ has a third requirement; sensation must give rise to pleasure by engaging our capacities of reflective contemplation. Judgments of beauty are sensory, emotional and intellectual all at once.
For a more detailed perspective read the following blog
Apart from Tirtha Das Gupta, one person who opened many new windows for me in visual and literary art was a senior diplomat Mr.Deshbandhu Snehi.
I still fondly remember the many charming evenings we had together in Tripoli, reading, discussing and reflecting.
Here are links to some recent and old blogs covering the theme of art
Evening Walk in Rome
Some Field Notes
Flowers for all occasions
Museum Imaging Malta
Year End Diary
A sketch a day
Sketch-study of works of art is an interesting way to increase knowledge
about these works which have come to us through time.