How to Appreciate Paintings #29: The longer you look, the more you appreciate
Studies have shown that most museum visitors look at a painting for an average of 15 seconds.
We look at the painting, read the label for the painting, look at the painting again to verify what we learnt from the label, and move on to the next painting. All In 15 seconds.
Can we truly see a painting in 15 seconds? Frankly, we can truly see anything in 15 seconds?
15 seconds merely gives us a superficial overview of what the painting is about. We cannot hope to achieve much from the painting by giving it a cursory glance.
If we spend another 15 seconds looking at the painting, it will bring out a whole new world.
Suddenly we can see the details – a figure hidden in the corner, the intricacies of the petals, the unusual shape of the roof; we notice the depths of the colours – the red that is redder than red, the unexpected blue in the apple, the countless shades of white in the sky; we recognize the brushstrokes – the dot that is a human, the maze of fine lines in the background, the few broad strokes that make up a boat.
As we see more, we also begin to feel more, as the painting starts to jolt experiences and evoke emotions. We start to connect with the painting.
Let us start to look at every painting a little longer, so that every visit to the gallery can be a fuller experience.
How to appreciate paintings? The longer you look at a painting, the more you appreciate the painting.
Learn more about how to appreciate paintings at HowToAppreciatePaintings.com