I have developed ideas on interpreting art and they are surface level meanings, aesthetic appreciation and literary, cultural and Philosophical Interpretation.
I take paintings of Belgian Surrealist Paul Delvaux, Picasso and the paintings of Gauguin and Van Gogh.
Paul Delvaux Call of the Night
On the surface level, there is barren land, nude female bodies having hair of vegetation, hills and trees without branches.
To appreciate it from an aesthetic angle as a pure work of art, it is an elegant craft of displaying the contours of the naked feminine. The tone of color used is a rich nuance, producing an aesthetic effect. Everything is serenely placed as rhythm of light and color.
Let’s look at the painting from a literary, cultural and philosophical point of view. The painting depicts dream and reality juxtaposed together. Is barrenness of the terrain showing contrast with the sexual awakenings of the woman (the woman are veiled with hair)? Does the woman covered with veil, initiating others into the realm of sexuality. Is the light held the buxom woman an invitation to do the poetry of the bed?
Gauguin’s Spirit of the Dead Watching
On the surface level, there is a nude young girl and man hooded in black.
An aesthetic appreciation we understand how vividly is the brilliant use of color, the dark and light shades forming an ambient tapestry of a picture of art.
From a cultural point of view, we find Gauguin celebrating the culture of Tahiti. As a philosophical art, Gauguin ponders on the questions of immortality, life after death and the soul. From a psychoanalytic point of view we find that the man is obsessed with a younger woman.
Van Gogh’s Cultivator
On the surface level it is a painting in agrarian settings were a farmer is sowing the field.
As an aesthetic appreciation we understand the brilliant exposition of color, light and shade forming metaphors of a painting of art.
From a cultural point of view we can understand that Van Gogh was influenced by the Parable of the Seed in the Bible. Philosophically speaking there’s harmony of man with nature both being metaphoric as friends.
From a surface level of meaning we can see a distortion of animal and human figures embedded in the canvas.
As aesthetic appreciation, we can follow the ingenuity of Picasso to create a new school of painting called Cubism. Art is shown to create an aversion in the mind. Looking at it we are overcome with a feeling of catharsis.
From a Cultural Point of View we can understand Guernica to show the bombing of a town called Basque and the horrors.