From the beginning of this trip it has been pretty obvious to me that my focus would be drawn toward all of the amazing art that I knew I would be seeing. Having studied art history on and off throughout my education, and completed extensive pre-Europe work, I had laid a firm foundation for the art pieces I would encounter. Since mid-May I have been privileged to see so many of The Greats of art history. Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. Chagall’s Biblical Series. Michelangelo’s David and the Sistine Chapel. Raphael’s School of Athens. Boticelli’s Primavera and the Birth of Venus. Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Klimt’s Kiss. Monet’s waterlilies. Van Gogh’s self portrait. There are so many more masterpieces and artists that this whole blog could be one long list, but I digress.
Despite all of The Greats it has bees some of the lesser known artists that have moved me the most. The unexpected surprises that really stopped me in my tracks. One such moment was in the Museum of Natural History in Vienna. It was there that I found a four inch tall curvaceous little fertility icon. Her name was the Venus of Willendorf and she dates back to the Paleolithic times. The Venus is essentially the beginning of art history as we know it. I was so struck by this little figure’s intricate details, still visible many thousand years later.
I am working out my relationship with art everyday, juggling feelings about it’s value or materialism or elitism, one thing is becoming more and more clear to me through self examination and interaction with the masters. We are creators, made to replicate or interpret the world around us as we see it. This is in everyone in some way, I think. And for those who impacted us the most either because we love them or hate them, think they are full of it, or we see ourselves or our culture through their work, thank you.