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Yancy's picture

I seldom came to somewhere to see pictures by foreign painters because I believed if I could not know those painters’ background, I would not understand the deep meaning of their works. So, I just treated those works respectfully in my heart and refused to see them. However, my experience today changes in some degree my mind. And I think although the background is un-known for me, it won’t influence my enjoyment.

There are thousands of art works in front of me. Some are made by very famous painters such as Van Gogh or Monet, and others are made by unfamiliar names. I walk from one room to another, those works on the wall look at me silently, and I try to choose one work that shocks me or causes my interest. When I enter in a new room, I decide to sit for a break. Then, when I notice the picture on the wall, I know, the one I need is here.

The picture is larger than other works around it. And its colors are darker. It is like a silent person who stays with some vivacious partners. I lookat it, and it looks at me. It depicts a young man sitting on a chair and putting his right elbow on a desk in front of him. On the desk, there are four books. On two of the books, there is a skull. Between the skull and the two books, there are some papers and on one corner of the desk, there is also a paper there. The background of this picture is interesting and mysterious. It looks like a purdah but there are some leaves and a branch on it. Maybe the leaves and branch are decorations of the purdah. The painter, Paul Cezanne used dark colors to construct the sad, hopeless and oppressive atmosphere of this picture. When I came back, I searched on the Internet for this picture, but the result I found is not as dark as the one I saw in the museum. In the work in museum, painter did not use any warm color to draw this picture. His colors are blue, brown, green, grey and black, and the important specialty is, dark. Although the skull should be white, it looks so dark when it stays in such a dark condition. The skull for me is always used to represent death. Painter profiled the young man, and he also profiled the skull. The man and the skull seem to face each other, which I think the young man is depicted to face his death. Another ten minutes pass. I stare at the left hand of the young man. He puts it on the leg and made a fist. I felt confused and interested in the boy’s gesture and the reason of drawing such picture, but I knew I would not know the true answer because the death of the painter. Barnes opened such museum for people to enjoy the beauty itself. The beauty of arts will not be influenced by the background and the names of painters. The appreciation for the art works, for many times, is so complicated that viewers overlook the original criterion and focus much on the famous names on them. A draft by da Vinci is more ‘valuable’ than a beautiful picture by nobody in current time. But, is it true? The appreciation criterion at present is influenced by many aspects, including the name of the painter. But I think the art’s value is not the name but the beauty of it. The use of color, lines and structures is more important than the background and the wonderful name on the corners. The picture drawing skull and a boy is such a good work. The dark color is harmonious and clearly depicts the border between objects. The boy’s position is near the center of the picture and tells people clearly the main object. His jacket is dark blue, but some part is lighter and some part is darker to make the boy three-dimension.

This experience in the foundation is fresh for me because I never think I would have some links with such a painting. Without the background knowledge of are works, I think I can really enjoy the sense of beauty that brought by the art work. This is also the original idea of Barnes. The value of art works should be treated differently.