Art Criticism

In Richardson’s views, art  could be something that could improve society as a whole. In his essays called “Two Discourses- an Essay on the Art of Criticism,” he speaks of his idealistic views of the purpose and potential of art. He saw good art as something that was not merely “ornamental,” but also as something that could instruct and inspire people to do good. In his second essay, he writes “if gentlemen were lovers of painting, and connoisseurs, This would help to reform them, as their example, and influence would have the like effect upon the common people.” Later in the essay, he writes about how much better men  would be if they could spend their time observing art instead of drinking wine and doing other scandalous things.  

I think that Richardson is partially correct in this. If we as a society could get deeply invested and interested in art instead of wasting time with things like social networking, I think we could definitely grow intellectually. However, I think that Richardson was a bit idealistic in his writing. I think that if he did an actual study on this instead of simply theorizing, his words would hold more weight.

My first piece of choice is by Claude Monet:




Monet is one of my favorite artists of all time, mostly due to his unconventional style of painting. His work was so radical compared to the realistic paintings of his time, yet a whole era of painting began because of him. I particularly like this painting because it makes me feel captivated and curious. I could come back to this painting a hundred times and still find something new that I didn’t see before. He captured the essence of light so perfectly, but not too obviously or in a tacky way.

    On the other hand, the following is a painting I chose by Thomas Kincade:Image

This painting, along with the majority of Kincade’s work, is tacky and garish, and unrealistic in the way that it depicts life. His paintings leave nothing to be discovered, but do leave many observers walking away with an uneasy feeling. He markets himself as a christian artist, yet he paints unrealistic, fantastical pictures. Art should reveal truth. It should hint at the hardships in this life, and also hint at a source of hope. Kincade doesn’t really paint truth in my eyes; only fantasy. Judging by Richardson’s pieces on the connoisseur , I think that he would agree with me on how I view these paintings.





One thought on “Art Criticism

  1. Harper,
    Good job setting up your arguments for/against Richardson. Squeezing in your personal opinion about how present society could benefit from more art appreciation and less social networking was interesting. To play devil’s advocate in this situation (regardless of my actual opinion), I will ask you what you think about sites like Tumblr and Pintrest? Are these not ways to promote “art” while also using social media? Just some food for thought.

    About your critiques, I like how you chose two paintings similar in content, (landscape”ish” with water) but so different in style. I know that the Monet piece is pre-1950, which does not meet the requirements of the assignment…so shame on you! Since the piece isn’t archaic, I’ll let this slide.

    Overall, good work.

    Grade, “S,”

    Samantha Q

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