A sea of an aromatic royal blue is what first caught my eye in the Museum of Fine Arts. A color so captivating it was almost calling my name. Luca Della Robbia’s sculpture “Virgin and Child with Lilies ? is what I choose to describe. Out of all of Della Robbia’s sculptures, why did I choose this one? While viewing the sculpture I felt almost a connection with the subjects projected in the art. The mother had only eyes of love watching her baby curiously grabbing at nearby flowers.
The angels above also seemed to be watching over the pair; approving of the mothers loving embrace and ecstatic over the child’s curiosity and seemingly future genius. The art makes me feel a sort of peace or serenity. Seeing the mother care for her child reminds me of my own mother; it brings me a feeling of nostalgia. The royal blue sky reflects a calmness in me that really has me enjoying the art. Giving me a feeling of pleasure, the art has me totally engrossed in only it. In “The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry ?, author Walter Pater describes what he believes a true aesthetic critic should possess and feel when they examine art.
One thing Pater says an aesthetic critic should do is to see the object as it really is, instead of abstractly define art or beauty. The critic should instead focus on the effects the work itself provokes. Pater asks a series of questions pertaining to the art. Doe does this art affect me? Does this art make me feel pleasure? What is this specific arts meaning to me? All of these questions should come up when really describing a work of art. Notice how Pater brings up the individual in every question. An aesthetic critic should focus on how that art made them feel and reach to have their best ideas on the work come through.
When Pater talks specifically of Luca Della Robbia he conveys how the Tuscan artist has expression in his pieces. “The whole essence of their work is expression, the passing of a smile over the face of a child, the ripple of the air on a still day over the curtain of a window ajar. ? (Pater) Luca Della Robbia overcame limitation or hard realism (one sided presentment of mere form) in sculpture. He did this by combining high art and low art (Michelangelo and Greek sculptors) to create both passion and pure form. Pater discusses how you must bring what’s inward to the surface to create expression.
If I had not ever read Pater, I don’t think I would have noticed the piece of art. Remembering Pater’s advice to the critic, I really asked myself how the art affected me. I noticed how the art individually made me feel and not how it was made for the public; which is something I would not do otherwise. By reading the Luca Della Robbia chapter I was able to witness how Della Robbia really brought new life to his work with color to a could be ordinary sculpture. I really saw how Della Robbia combined high and low art, just like Pater said. The art had a feeling of expression.
I saw how hard realism was overcome. I felt as though the piece showed precise details; like the look of the mother’s loving face and the child’s curious glance. Della Robbia really brought life to the piece, which made it very easy to enjoy and understand. In conclusion, Luca Della Robbia was a very influential artist, that combined sculpting and works of art. He used expression. Because of reading Pater I was really able to understand the art I was looking at. I learned how to really criticize something art I would probably have not looked twice at. I noticed new details and emotions.