Art interpretation: How to Appreciate Art – the best sources for personal growth

Art Interpretation - Venus de Milo Sculpture - Blog article - Art news

Art interpretation and understanding within your grasp for personal growth

In this day and age, information is evolving and the ways we approach art interpretation and comport ourselves to learning about art is changing rapidly. We can, in one instance, view any number of great works of art instantly, from anywhere in the world. This access to information gives us an unparalleled ability to remain connected to world culture from any point in history. Not only that, avenues exist currently that allow you to take full advantage of this amazing idea. A variety of services, courses, intellectuals, and information is available to you, right now, that will give you a better ability to understand and interpret the art you love most.

Art Interpretation - Contemporary art Installation at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum
Art Interpretation – Contemporary Art Installation at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum.

We are all creatures that desire to know and understand more and more, and art interpretation is no longer the preserve of art critics. By giving yourself the gift of learning, you will constantly be interested and be able to access the art you love on a level you may haven’t considered possible. Thanks to the beautiful technological innovations of our contemporary culture, it is easier than ever to become and stay connected.

"The Garden of Earthly Delights" by Hieronymus Bosch, Prado museum, Madrid, Spain
“The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch, Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain

Why learn about Art History and interpretation?

Learning about the facts and creative processes behind great pieces of art allows you to gain a greater appreciation for it. With art interpretation skills you will be able to engage with the artwork on a more significant level. Interacting with art without any knowledge of its origins or artist is obviously possible and enjoyable. However, the ability to go deeper within any artistic work is enriching in a way that is nourishing for the mind and heart. Understanding the context of a given work is important because it gives rise to greater appreciation. In short, knowing basic techniques to interpret art will bring you to a new worldview that will affect you on an important emotional level.

Red Karl Marx statues - Trier Germany - Otmarl Hörl Installation
Red Karl Marx statues – Trier Germany – Otmar Hörl Installation

The ability to interpret great art is also important because many masterpieces simply have so much at play within them that being shown the inner workings of a piece by an expert with years of experience is helpful. Not only will you gain true understanding of the particular piece and any other contemporaneous pieces, but you will understand why the masterpieces are considered masterpieces in the first place.

Art appreciation at the Metropolitan Museum, New York
Art interpretation at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, USA.

Of course, art interpretation also lends itself to real life aspects as well. By training your mind to be more observant and critical, you will find that as you move through your daily life, the skills matter just as much. You will naturally begin to look at things differently, from your favorite TV show to the list of ingredients on your box of cereal. Improving art interpretation skills let people interpret the world itself.

Find Art interpretation tips on YouTube

An easy and efficient place to start, YouTube isn’t just cat videos. In fact, many people on YouTube also have a significant interest in art of all types and the history of it all. From one-off videos about Velasquez to official documentaries, to real in-class lectures, YouTube is providing a fun, friendly and informative space for learning as well as entertainment. The great thing about YouTube is the distance it holds from modern academia. Thanks to this distance come unconventional and more casual observations that are much more accessible and easily digestible for someone new to the world of art interpretation and analysis. Not only that, if you just want to sit back and watch a BBC documentary, you can do that as well!

Birth of Venus - Botticelli room of Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
Birth of Venus – Botticelli room of Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

YouTube’s greatest benefit is the fact that it is completely free and allows the voices of everyone to be heard and discussed. While some of the commentators aren’t as highly educated as one might want, many are and their opinions are worth seeking out and hearing! So whether you want a five-minute video outlining Botticelli’s Venus or listen to a taped, live discussion of lecturers discussing a variety of topics, YouTube is the perfect place to begin learning about the vast and interesting histories of art.

Use free University Tapings

Also included on YouTube occasionally, but given as well by established, reputable institutions themselves (including Harvard and Yale Universities), many Universities and academic institutions will record their professors’ lectures to post them online, giving you immediate access to real, in-class discourse with an absolute expert in the field. The great thing about this avenue of learning about art interpretation is that you will be able to pause and rewind anytime you wish! Unlike learning in a real classroom, you are in command of your learning, and you can approach it in any way that you wish.

Art interpretation and Appreciation - Islamic Gallery Istambul
Islamic arts gallery Istanbul, Turkey

Of course, another benefit to this method is the simple fact that you very well might not be able to get into the real class at Harvard itself! This isn’t surprising for a variety of reasons (who has the exorbitant tuition fees available for casual learning?), but it does allow you to get a first class education with absolutely no cost to you. While you won’t have a fancy degree hanging from your wall or office at the end of your studies, you will have the same level of knowledge that other students at Harvard will have – and that’s impressive all on its own!

Sign up for paid online Courses

Another option that is fully utilizing the internet as a medium for education is to sign up for an online course! Usually this is done one of two ways:

  • going through a university or college itself and signing up precisely like a real life course (and attending ‘lectures,’ handing in homework, etc.)
  • going through a third party site that will hire relevant experts that are able to outline and establish a lecture series on their own about art interpretation.

No matter which you decide, being able to interact with a teacher directly will have great impact on your learning and comprehension of the material. Furthermore, you’ll be able to clarify anything that you might have on your mind!

People visiting Tate Museum Modern Gallery, London, UK.
People visiting Tate Museum Modern Gallery, London, UK.

These courses are efficient and specially tailored to people just like you – those who want to learn, preferably from an expert, about a topic they love. Not only this, but you’ll be matched up with a variety of peers who want to learn just as much as you do, so the communities you establish will be incredibly beneficial! A good reference is Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Buy courses on DVD/Digital Download

The Great Courses and companies similar provide a similar avenue of learning that paid online courses and university lectures do, with the added benefit of getting the top experts in art interpretation on board to give a lecture on the classes that have made them extremely influential. Not only does it combine the benefit of being able to watch a lecture at your leisure with the rigor and structure of a real college course, but it’s also a much more interesting experience on its own. Most lectures, for instance, tend to blend the capabilities of online lectures with slides, informative charts and graphs, and key notes to take with the casual breeziness of a teacher talking directly to you. This unique blend of learning styles appeals to anyone with a true passion for the subject and is extremely easy to access and take on. In terms of quality learning for a reasonable price, private courses like these provide excellent returns for anyone.

Art History Blogs

Art blog and Gift shop - Musart BoutiqueFrom art news blog here at to countless others, another free, simple way to engage with the intricacies and detail of art history is to read the blogs that experts create. While not a curated and directed learning experience, blogs such as this provide an interesting, episodic glance at subjects that the author finds interesting at the time. This can run the gamut with all different kinds of subjects, but free musings from top intellectuals on a variety of subjects. It remains an incredibly interesting and comprehensive way to learn more about the beauty of art interpretation and history.
It is through communities and interaction that we all grow as a culture, and being able to comment, read, and interact with blog writers is a compelling and interesting way to have conversations that lead to great intellectual discoveries.

Don’t let your mind and spirit atrophy!

Art analyse and interpretationJust like your physical body, your mind needs constant exercise and stimulation. By learning more about the subjects and masterpieces you love, you will continually be engaging your brain with the beautiful creations of geniuses that came before and accessing them in a significant personal way. Not only is this entertaining and interesting but it will transform and bolster your spirit in return. Keeping a finger on the pulse of our living culture is a great way to remain happy, interested and positive in a world where so much else is going wrong, and focusing on the creative is a healthy way to spend your time.
Being able to open up the world of art interpretation is a great gift that you can give anyone, especially yourself. By allowing cultures from around the world to affect you, and having their artists enter your mind, heart, and spirit, you will continually revitalize and nourish yourself, and that isn’t something you can take lightly!

2 thoughts on “Art interpretation: How to Appreciate Art – the best sources for personal growth

  1. Daphne Gilpin says:

    It’s great that you mentioned how YouTube can be informative as well as entertaining, so it’s a great resource to use for art interpenetration tips. Recently I’ve been feeling interested in experiencing more art and culture, but I have some hesitation because I’m worried I’m not educated enough to understand it. Your article was valuable to me because now I can use YouTube to learn about art and feel more prepared to go to an exhibition!

  2. Rebecca Gardner says:

    It caught my attention when you explained that viewing art allows us to be affected by other cultures in addition to providing revitalization and nourishment. I’ve been wanting to try some new interests and hobbies so I can have more to add to the conversation during the group chats that my friend group has each week. Maybe I’ll look for some art about the female form since that’s something that’s always been meaningful to me!

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