I recently signed up for an Art History course studying European paintings from Leonardo to Rembrandt.
Right now I’m feeling slightly panicked as I have 4 days left of this first week and I still have 4 lectures to go. Now that mightn’t sound so bad to you, but I haven’t done the exercises yet for the first 2 lectures, nor have I even looked at the recommended readings!
What I can tell you however is that I’m already in love with this course. I found it on edx.org which offers free online quality educational courses. I’ve done a number of courses through them.
I honestly believe art must be experienced in person to get a sense of its magnitude. I know this because of the moment I rounded the corner in the Accademia Gallery in Florence and saw for the first time, Michelangelo’s marble masterpiece – David.
My emotions got the better of me and I just stood there and wept. I was still quite a way off, people were milling at his feet, but David towered over them in all his beauty – right there for me. I was speechless. (something beautiful to behold in itself , if you ask Gordon) I’m sure it was at that moment I fell in love with art and developed a thirst for arthistory. I wanted to know more, both about the work and the artist himself.
Remembering back, I think it was then that I truly experienced for the first time, Picasso’s famous quote – Art washing away from my soul the dust of everyday life. My tears felt like Alfred Austin’s summer rain, gentling cleansing as they fell.
I followed Michelangelo around Italy that year, much like a modern day stalker, finding him everywhere from Florence to Rome – in awe of each of his works. Now I have the opportunity to deepen my love affair, with knowledge – I can’t wait!