CLASSMATE POST: (PLEASE CITE ALL REFERENCES)
I choose Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, 1889, as the artwork that has meaning for me. I actually searched the textbook, hoping to find it for this discussion. It has always been one of my favorites. It can be found in Chapter 21, fig. 21.30 on page 385. I look forward to learning more about this particular artist.
The Starry Night seems to be a representation of Art in Worship as described in Chapter 2, using imagery that shows a cathedral with an extremely tall narrow steeple that rises over the rest of the town. As a central focus it acts as an indicator of the spiritual structure of the painting. The way it reaches towards the stars mimics the raised hands of a worshiper. Though there is a darker feeling in parts of the painting, the overall effect is there are beginnings and ending to all good things, the end of the physical and the beginning of eternal.
Thomas Aquinas believed that art is beneficial in encouraging religion; showing the differences between the material world and spiritual reality. This belief continued to be influential in the construction of future cathedrals in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
Having the opportunity to view this piece in person versus a picture or replication is akin to looking through a telescope versus traveling through the stars. It would be hard to appreciate the colors and texture, those things that would speak to my own thoughts of my religious/ spiritual path.
As I was viewing this piece, it occurred to me that the windows of the church are very dark in comparison to the windows around the town. Are there any opinions on the reason and what it says to the person enjoying the art?
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