Art Make a Difference?

The arts have been regarded as a “cure-all” for calamities of every variety. Integrating the Arts in school curriculum has proven to be good for student discipline and academic performance. The arts help improve physical and psychological well-being, and acts as a catalyst for social capital and completion of community goals (Guetzkow, 2002).

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According to the famous philosophers; Hamlet and Socrates both described art as “a mirror held up to nature.” ”

The arts can hardly be defined specifically; no two scholars ever speak of them the same way and no two studies have ever yielded similar findings regarding the benefits of the Arts or how they affect us. However, it is undeniable that the very first scientists, architects and researchers had their with the Arts.

Raphael, The School of Athens, 1509 — 11

There are very few paintings that have single-handedly revolutionized portrait making as the “School of Athens” run by Raphael did. Embodying the spirit of renaissance and bringing a new approach to how architectural spaces and perspective is perceived, the painting was commissioned to decorate the Vatican and is Raphael’s masterpiece. Every Greek philosopher is depicted in this painting with a very clever usage of symbols that speak of each philosopher’s story and contribution (Gottesman, 2015).

Titian, Venus of Urbino, 1538

Titian became notorious for depicting and producing works that often showed mythological subjects in an erotic and . Titian opened the doors to a new kind of patronage and art history saw the royal and religious elite commissioning religious works as well as these tempting pieces of seduction, gratification, and indulgence. In his work, “The Venus of Urbino” breaks away from the traditional depiction of the goddess towards a more erotic, open and contemporary outlook, freed of allegorical trappings.(Gottesman, 2015).

Velazquez, Las Meninas, 1656

Artists had a presence but rarely in their paintings, Velazquez introduced the artist’s presence in the composition. In the painting Las Meninas he has portrayed himself painting a portrait of the King and Queen of Spain. This delightful perspective has been a source of debate and new age composition for art historians for years. Velazquez’s depiction of the King and Queen breaks away from the traditional style that persisted during that era and shows his subjects as spectators within the painting itself, recognized in the painting by their reflection in a small mirror on the rear wall of the studio, a quaint and meaningful composition where little was usually found. The center of the painting is the young princess, often regarded by art historians as Velazquez’s way of depicting the hope and dawn of a new era (Gottesman, 2015).

Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893

Probably one of the most well-known and widely recognized paintings in the world, “The Scream” made its mark not only as an icon of modern art, but also how the modern man was going through these times; fraught with stress, anxiety and uncertainty. Munch’s psychologically charged depiction has had many viewers “feel” the scream.

Picasso, Guernica, 1937

Being the Nazi German interference in the , Guernica is a physical embodiment of his hatred of this interference. The artwork is his masterpiece because it is a universal symbol of warning against power and sufferings of war. (Gottesman, 2015).

Art does not necessarily have logic but it does have reason and that is what makes the difference in the bigger picture.


Danto, A. (1964). The Artworld. The Journal of Philosophy.

Gottesman, T. (2015, June 22). 11 Paintings That Changed The World. Retrieved from Xpat Nation:

Guetzkow, J. (2002). How the Arts Impact Communities: An introduction to the literature on arts impact studies. Taking the Measure of Culture Conference, 1.