Recently I asked myself, “Why do I love art history so much?” My first art history course was taken almost three semesters ago before I transferred to Marywood. I took it as a fine arts credit originally and I remember my friends always complaining about their art history courses saying it was one of the worst classes to take. However, I still decided to take it purely because I wanted to see if they were right. I should have known they would be wrong though. For one, I love history. I have always loved it and learned that I love art history even better!
I was always eager for class every Tuesday and Thursday. I put all I had into the class, I took as many notes as I could and studied like I never studied before. I really wanted to do well in the course. I am pretty sure all my time and effort went towards that class solely. I truly enjoyed every moment of what I was learning in the course.
I found it beyond interesting to learn about history from another aspect. There was so much more to the history when art was involved. I almost felt as if the light at the end of the tunnel was there, everything made sense and I felt very appreciative of what I was learning. For me, I learn best when I am taught the whys, whens, wheres, and hows and seeing the history behind the topics we learn today in the art world made better sense for me then. I remember learning linear and atmospheric perspective in middle school, but I was never taught where it came from and why we do it and now I feel like a genius because I know the perspectives came from the Renaissance era and Leonardo was one who used it in every one of his paintings. I feel like a little art encyclopedia walking around and I love it. The knowledge I obtained so far gives me some confidence!
I think my absolute favorite thing about art history is how the history of the time was actually incorporated into the works. The minuscule, subtle details that are put in a piece are my favorite. Rembrandt van Rijn was notable for doing such things. He would have the story right there in front of you in the foreground but he would then add subtle, purposely done details in the background that create a subplot to what is actually happening. It is like a game to figure out what all the symbols and hidden messages mean, I think it is exciting and fun!
However, I think one of the main reasons why I love art history so much is because it has changed me as a person and as a student. I was one to never participate in class, I just sat quietly in class absorbing information but my art history course really engaged me. I wanted to participate and be a part of the conversations. That course really helped me to open up and not just in that class but in all of my other classes as well. I felt as if the light came shining down telling me this is your path. Art history gives me a sense of who I am. I feel as if I am whole; nothing is missing when I am sitting in those classes!