A Moment to Slow down

Forget the hustle and bustle of city life and allow yourself a moment to slow down and look around...Let the paintings purify your heart. Let yourself immerse in meditation. Enjoy~

Painter of this piece of work is Henri Rousseau, a French painter who originally took painting just as a hobby. Throughout his life, Rousseau has been extraordinarily ingenuous and he suffered much ridicule (although he sometimes interpreted sarcastic remarks literally and took them as praise) as well as enduring great poverty. However, his faith in his own abilities never wavered. This picture, The Sleeping Gypsy, presents a freshness of his innocence and the charm of his faith. The images are simple: a Gypsy girl is lying on the desert, sound asleep with her walking stick in hand, bottle and musical instrument right beside her. A lion is sniffing about, musing over and seems to be quite curious of this tired traveler. The whole picture gives a soothing sense of harmony and peace. Man and nature, in the peaceful starry night, come to an unexpected yet pleasant encounter. The dark gray background the sky adds to the quietness of the night, and made the colorful striped-pattern on the girl's clothes stand out a bit more, giving rise to viewers' pleasant imagination of the girl's lovely nature. Even though the painter didn't use quite realistic representation of the scene, it still seems so vivid and real. Viewers almost feel this is true in life. I am simply overwhelmed by the serenity and peace in the picture and feel deeply touched by the unnatural harmony that is taking place in the picture. What a peaceful state of mind the artist must have when he creates such a scene! Associated with the downs in life he suffered from, it becomes especially precious for him to come ** with such purity and innocence!
"This morning I saw the country from my window a long time before sunrise," the artist wrote to his brother Theo, "with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big." Rooted in imagination and memory, The Starry Night embodies an inner, subjective expression of Van Gogh's response to nature. In thick sweeping brushstrokes, a flame-like cypress unites the churning sky and the quiet village below. Who can believe this masterpiece was painted by a patient being kept under the custody a psychiatric hospital? Yes, indeed, it is a painting of Vincent Van Gogh’s bizarre mind during that time. The year before he painted the piece, he got into a major fight with his most trusted friend, Gaugin and as the argument heated **, Vincent lose control of his better thinking that even led to his cutting his own ear! The depression he suffered finally sent him into the psychiatric hospital and it is during his stay in the ward that Van Gogh come ** with this amazing masterpiece that would throw almost every of its beholders into pondering. With a close look at the painting, we saw the night sky filled with swirling clouds, stars ablaze with their own luminescence, and a bright crescent moon. Although the features are exaggerated and presented in a bizarre fashion, we still feel close to the scene depicted and can make our own connections with times in life when we face ** and caught overwhelmed by the mysterious starry night sky. A peaceful and easy mind would wrap ** the viewers and give them a comfortable yet unspoken sense of mystery. The curves of the clouds and the dot-like stars actively involve the views and keep their eyes engaging with the visual movement represented in the picture. Following the order of left to right and top to bottom, viewers come to see the small town lying below the rolling hills of the horizon after exclaiming at the stars and the moon. Flowing from the structure is again a peaceful essence which is perhaps inspired by the cool dark colors and the lights leaking out from some of the houses. The most eye-catching image in the town would be the tall steeple of the church, reigning largely over the smaller buildings. This steeple casts down a sense of stability onto the town, and also creates a sense of size and seclusion. To the left of the church, there stands a massive dark structure that greatly dwarfs the church which stands out among the buildings in the town. This structure is simply magnificent compared to the scale of all other objects in the painting. With no obvious answer to its identity, viewers are allowed to weld their own imagination and interpret it in the way they themselves prefer. All in all, this is Van Gogh’s perfect representation of a night perceived in his much troubled mind. He has made an outstanding feat in using colors and strokes to interpret the thoughts that are going through his head at that time. It appears that almost each stroke of brush of the Starry Night has a story to tell and through those strokes we come to get a peek at the complicated thoughts that challenged this man when he was trying to escape from the sinister world where he felt so little recognition and senses of warmth.
I love the water lilies on the canvas by Monet. These are what he kept watching during his last thirty years of life. Though suffering from the fading eyesight, he was obsessed with those beautiful flowers. In the dance of the shade and light, he captured the most serene and amazing moment of the water lilies, quietly blooming in the depth of night and sending off inspiring messages of life and hope with their sweet pinkish color. Visiting MOMA and having a look at the picture, you will have the feeling that you are actually larger than the view that you're looking at on an easel-sized canvas, and somehow you will become immersed in the scene of the water lily pond. Everything else fade into insignificance, and you're just right in the face of those vibrantly blooming water lilies and the surface of the water with the clouds reflected from above. You will find yourself in a dizzy sense of being lost in the expanse of water and of light. The aim of this large Water Lilies paintings, Monet said, was to supply "the illusion of an endless whole, of water without horizon or bank." He sought to create "the refuge of a peaceful meditation in the center of a flowering aquarium in the ages of wars." His attempt successfully captured the constantly changing qualities of natural light and color and indeed created for viewers a soothing wonderland where the purity of beauty can ease them off and get them into a world of peace and love, never harassed by the war.
This painting Ophelia depicts the heroine floating on the river after falling from the tree while gathering flowers, one scene in Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. Ophelia didn't wear any expression of sadness or panic, but rather, in a way as if unaware of her danger ("incapable of her own distress"). The looming grass and bushes, the dark shade of the water in the river, all seem to be swallowing her ** in the very moment between her life and death. There is such a repose in her that I am so touched by and attracted to this drowning beauty. The vividness and the senses of reality and tragedy in the painting made me feel as if I am witnessing this historical yet amazingly poetic moment, the crystallized second before going to another world. The glowing of her face and skin, the glimmer of the water together with her delicate dress all add beauty to this picture. There is almost a piercing sense of poignancy that makes it hard for me to directly look at the scene. The petals coming off the flowers are as if symbols of her dying heart and body. The intense, saturated colors of the surrounding almost create a stifling silence, making this tragic moment of our heroine immortalized with her peacefully waiting to be drowned and encounter death. All in all, I love this painting, especially when making connections with the depiction from Hamlet, associating with the pangs of pain that has been biting off Ophelia's heart. The tragic beauty achieved immortality in this well-represented scene of the very moment between life and death.
This painting vividly reflects the ugly reality in the Russian society and the courage of the painter wins over my affection. We see in the picture a visibly unhappy young girl wearing the bride's gown and almost weeping and an absurdly old yet high-ranking official dressed ** as the broom. Most people around are wearing an expression of either pride with curiosity or simply nonchalance. Though they come to attend the wedding ceremony, nobody seems to be really sincere enough to congratulate the newly wed couple, or even, the couple themselves do not really seem to be happy about the marriage. It is said that the painter painted himself in the wedding as well -- the man standing on the very right with arms crossed who seems to be angry with the arrangement is assumed to be the painter's self portrait. From this painting, we got a glimpse of the days in Russia where women lead a treacherous life without the freedom to choose the men they really love; and we got to see the unequal position male and female held. I appreciate the painter's voicing his objection and unsatisfactory through his works of art, using the brushstrokes as the weapon to fight against the cruelty and lack of justice reflected in social events.
This painting seems to be a very popular one among the portrays of prayers. We see in the picture the couple farmers who stopped halfway from their work and piously making their prayers at the nightfall. I am touched by the piety they display and the peaceful stateliness as is shown in the painting. The filed has been tilled, the potatoes are already in the basket, and the hays are cut and well placed in the cart. From these detailed painting , we can see that life may not be affluent enough for them, yet it is still comfortable with love between husband and wife and their common belief in the god. This scene taking place at the dusk of the day, with everything bathing in the warm and soft golden shines of the setting Sun just touches me with some unspoken influence of the piety and harmony. A soothing sense of warmth and calm will go through my veins every time I place myself in front of the painting. I don't necessarily have to be a believer of their god to appreciate the beauty in the painting. There is the strength and power that does not need to be communicated with shared belief or whatsoever. As long as I really look into the picture, I feel as though I were also on the field there, with most of the farmwork done, therefore carrying a light-hearted mood. Cooking smoke may be rising ** from the houses not far away from the land. The clock sounds and the farmers stop to thank their God for offering them food, giving their strength to go on with life being loved and well blessed. A natural yet uncommon moment in life where the poor people sincerely express their gratitude and wishes for blessing opens a world of purity and simplicity for me. It reminds me to stay happy with what I have and learn to live with a heart full of gratitude..
This painting by Munch is also a great piece of art that inspires strong feelings on the viewers. I like the painting in the way that I feel I myself sometimes experience the same intensity of agitation, fear or confusion in life when I also want to scream to let out the stifling emotions, just as the main character did in the painting. Munch employed wavy strokes to present the sky and the sea, giving the viewers a feeling of twist and unreality. This may be the effect of the screamer's strong psychotic mental state. Stress or whatsoever, he has been tortured by some feeling that can not be well dealt with. And all of a sudden, in the golden dusk with the clouds fiery in color, as if burning with intense emotions as well, the character cannot put ** his emotion any more. With his mouth wide open, hands clutching ears, he screamed and screamed, letting out the once repressed mixture of feelings and made a historic moment in his life --- a moment of brave release of the pressure and all. Back in the picture, though blurry, there are also two other human figures, adding to the liveliness of the painting. However, there seem to be two separate worlds for the screamer and the two walkers. The character in scream seems to have a twisted world of his own, a world detached from reality, a world that nobody else could possibly enter. I feel I shared the loneliness and despair that is going through the screamer's mind. The world is so big, yet I am so small and unimportant. No one cares how I feel. I can only through screaming relieve the pain and unload some pressure. Life of others may be rosy as the burning color of the firmament, but that is nothing related to mine, a gray and sick world that is doomed with darkness. A impenetrable abyss of desperation.
The first glance of the painting gives me the feeling that it is somewhat an interpretation of the paradise by the painter. The spectacular view of the circle of the rainbow against the grand mountains is so impressive that it throws the viewer into pleasant pondering of a fairyland. I like this paradise-like place presented by the painter. He captured a great moment in the valley where everything is in such harmonious co-existence. Zooming in, we can even see a pinkish flower in its full bloom among the thick growing green. Two travelers or maybe merchants are on their way. The road is wet. Maybe it just had some rainfall. We can even see the reflection of the two travelers on the surface of the standing water. The painting is so delicate that we may even see some trickle of waterfall and blurry images of a village hiding among the spectacular view of grand mountains. Some clouds are rising in the mountain valley, yet the painter left some space out to let us steal a glance at the pure blue sky. Several huge palm tress stand out and give the whole view an aesthetic sense of balance. Be it the contrast between nature and human beings, or between the greens, blues and the colorful spectrum of the rainbow, they all give the painting a beauty of serenity and harmony. I am given the impulse to get there and immerse myself in the amazing creation of nature and deeply breathe and relax, forgetting about the boredom and harassment in the material society.
This picture caught my attention with its warm bright colors. I don't live anywhere near the sea, so I never have the opportunity to really watch a sunrise right in front of my eyes. This painting captures a moment when half of the sky got tinted with the color of the rising sun, some refreshingly warm bright ocher while the other half still keeps the color of pure blue, with the bordering part shining with a vague mixture of the two. In the very distance, we observe a tip of the rising Sun, firing with a burning red color, so vibrant that it seems to have the power to swallow ** the whole sky and get its red saturating the whole firmament. A small boat sails on the mirror like surface of the sea. Everything is so calm and serene. It seems to be a perfect moment for some meditation and pondering upon the beauty in life. Mood should be light and easy, with an unnoticeable smile on the curved lips. Such a nice and peaceful beginning of the day should bring out more gratitude and positive emotions towards the experiences awaiting ahead. Enjoy immersing yourself in the serenity and enjoy starting a brand new day with a new cheering heart.
I don't know whether this is a famous painting or not. I just like the peace that saturated the picture. Toward evening, after the Sun sinks in the west, a couple of friends or relatives are sitting on a boulder, facing toward the horizon that separates the dark blue sea and the sky which is being drowned by darkness. The moon is rising ** from below the horizon, with the light that seems to be tinted with the dimming sunshine, a reddish color blend with golden yellow. I like to picture it to be a free Sunday night. They all have some spare time that can be made use of to give themselves a good treat to get close to nature and have a joyous get-together. No words need to be exchanged. No silence is awkward. They just need to sit there and wait, wait for the moment of the moonrise, a moment to witness the amazing creation of nature and cheer ** with the happiness to enjoy the moment. Constantly occupied with various staff in the hustle and bustle of the society, I find the peaceful moment in the painting especially precious and worthy of memorizing. Never forget to give yourself a little rest from the busy life of school or work. Sometimes we need to stop and take a look around, to find out the beauty in life and appreciate those gifts nature generously give us. A simple get-together with friends or relatives out in nature in quite enough. You may find it hard to believe, but from this painting, I realized, happiness is just this simple to achieve.
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