The one good thing about Bank of America- the first Sunday of the year, members are granted free admission to Museum of Fine Arts. Today was going to be the day where I’d gaze at history through art- thanks to Bank of America. Because, I had woken up late (I blame it on the 4 am noises- creepy voices and man walking through the apartment’s hallway), my day had started late, and none of my friends or family were on my schedule. So I decided to journey through the museum on my own.
The weather was dreary, and I was on my own… It didn’t matter, because I was accompanied by vibrant art, dating thousands of years back. I was able to walk through Ancient Egypt, Victorian Europe, and Asia, Middle East, and Africa. Not only were the sculptures, paintings, and colors breath taking, but the story behind the pieces were just as thought provoking. I noticed something- all the historical art (paintings, sculptures, and pieces) conveyed actual stories [about the way of life in the era it was created]. Now a days, paintings are abstract and are left for emotional interpretation and mental representation. Where as, modern day movies convey stories; the stories we hear today, were the same stories ancient artists had told through their paintings. Before cinematography, artists such as Abu al Qasim Fardawsi of Shanama Iran had told love stories (real tales, tragedies, and drama) through paintings. So many stories about the bitter sweet challenge and thrill of finding love.
One of the more intriguing set of paintings were ones of Jesus and Saints. The emotion and positioning of the paintings were very thought thought provoking. Here is one done by Titian. Keep in mind, he was 80 years old when he completed this painting (in the early 1500’s).
Catherine was born in Alexandria and raised a pagan, but converted to Christianity in her late teens. It is said that she visited her contemporary, the Roman Emperor Maxentius, and attempted to convince him of the moral error in persecuting Christians. She succeeded in converting his wife, the Empress, and many pagan philosophers whom the Emperor sent to dispute with her, all of whom were subsequently martyred. Upon the failure of the Emperor to win Catherine over, he ordered her to be put in prison; and when the people who visited her converted, she was condemned to death on the breaking wheel, an instrument of torture. According to legend, the wheel itself broke when she touched it, so she was beheaded.
I encourage my fellow peers to visit the Museum of Fine Arts and appreciate what our “ancestors” had left behind.