Tuesday, July 14, 2009
How Not to View a Painting
Last weekend I had to attend a conference in Washington, DC, so I took a little extra time to meet up with my brother, as well as some UD (and Guild Review) friends for dinner. When I arrived in Washington on Thursday, I had a little extra time in the afternoon, which I decided to spend in the National Gallery. In one of the rooms filled with works by Dutch painters, I found this painting of the interior of the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam by Emanuel de Witte (I believe).
I'm no art critic, but I was impressed by the detail, and wanted to get a closer look at some of the figures in the painting. After I had been standing there looking at the picture for about a minute, a woman, who had just entered the room, stepped up right next to me and said, "That is magnificent!" And then she walked away.
If you're going to call a painting magnificent, shouldn't you spend at least few seconds looking at it?