How to Appreciate Paintings #4: The title

Art exhibition in Singapore. ARTualize is the only art gallery in Singapore that lets you rent paintings for your home. Singapore artist Low Hai Hong with his oil painting of the port in Jambi in his art exhibition in NAFA art gallery in Singapore.


The title of the painting gives us clues to help us in our understanding of the painting. 
The painting’s title or name is usually given by the artist.  It is generally the only piece of information provided by the artist other than the painting itself.
There are many reasons why the artist have named the painting as he did: he could be stating what he had painted, explaining what he wanted to paint, describing in words what he wanted to express in the painting, highlighting the focal point of the painting, guiding the viewer to feel what he wanted them to experience from the painting, hiding the true intentions of what he had painted, fulfilling his personal motives for the painting.  The title is a tool that the artist uses to steer the viewer’s opinion of the painting to what he wants the viewer to have.
The title of the painting provides us with information of the painting.  While it may help us to better understand the painting, it may also create more questions for us.  When we reconcile what we are understanding from the title to what we are seeing from the painting, it could be a confirmation or a confusion to what we had thought about the painting. 
The title of the painting serves as an useful guide to point us to a certain direction which the artist may have intended for us. But it is a guide only.  We continue to explore the painting and form our own pathway to appreciating it.

How to appreciate paintings?  The title of the painting gives us valuable information that helps us in appreciating the painting. 

Learn more about how to appreciate paintings at

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published