Girl with a Pearl Earring, painted by a Dutch painter named Johannes Vermeer in 1665.
Girl with a Pearl Earring, painted by a Dutch painter named Johannes Vermeer in 1665.
Johannes Vermeer (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Art Tells a Story Better Than Words Ever Could

Girl with a Pearl Earring, painted by a Dutch painter named Johannes Vermeer in 1665. (Johannes Vermeer (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons))

As our society changes, and generations come and go, art changes through the years. Museums filled with photos of history stuck in time, to be admired for as long as our Earth rotates. Sometimes, artists don’t know how to find the words to describe their feelings or events that occurred. So, they pick up their paintbrush and show their stories.

Some of the most influential emotional painters included Vincent van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Leonardo da Vinci, to name a few. A portrait was done by Gogh entitled At Eternity’s Gate, also called Sorrowing Old Man. It was an oil painting completed in 1890, and its backstory is gut-wrenching.

In 1890, Van Gogh was overcoming a deep depression and was determined to start working on his artwork again. He picked up his sketch of At Eternity’s Gate and transferred it to canvas. The painting is a representation of Gogh’s health decline and his deep-rooted sorrow and weakness. He used art to express his feelings and show what life was like for him. A painting with no words, and yet it says so much not just about van Gogh, but about depression.

Johannes Vermeer painted Girl with a Pearl Earring in 1665 and is said to be a 16-year-old girl called a ‘tronie’. She is painted in front of a shallow black background, putting all focus on her. She is painted wearing a blue and cream turban, her famous pearl earring, and a gold jacket with a white collar. Her attention is caught by a fleeting moment as if flawlessly looking over her shoulder to meet her viewer’s gaze. Vermeer’s use of chiaroscuro makes the young girl look soft and lifelike, her face so specific many people theorized that she was a real woman who posed for Vermeer. His painting of her was meant to be a manifestation of beauty in simplicity, as she is described as an average girl.

At Eternity’s Gate, also referred to as Sorrowing Old Man. Painted by Vincent van Gogh in 1890. Vincent van Gogh (Wikimedia Commons)

Art is subjective and each and every piece tells a different story. Painters gain nicknames for the style of art and the kind of paintings they produce. One painter in particular, Heraclitus, gained the nickname ‘The Weeping Philosopher”. He was known for creating paintings of crying and sorrowful men. Heraclitus cried frequently and was severely depressed.

His artworks are yet another example of telling the world his feelings and mental state without using words. Artists can create works of art by painting body language and feelings to convey their messages.

The greatest philosophers and writers went to artistry to put their thoughts and imagination onto canvas. It simply didn’t matter if a person was one of the brightest minds in the world or a person with little to no education, they could still put a story onto a canvas or a song.

A world without art is a world without creativity and passion. Art is in music, poetry, paintings, sculptures, architecture, and so many more. It is timeless and ageless and is never forgotten.

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