July 12, 2012

Art Is Often Misinterpreted

What do you think this depicts?

The painting above at first sight seems to depict a horrific image, but in reality it shows that art is often not to be interpreted literally. One needs to think outside the box and put art in its context.

So what does it depict?


This piece comes from the British Library (Harley 4425, f. 140) and depicts "Nature forging a baby" (Bruges, c.1490-c.1500).

It is a depiction from a scene of a poem written by Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun titled Roman de la Rose. Here is the section from where the painting gained inspiration:

"But when Nature, sweet and compassionate, sees that envious Death and Corruption come together to put to destruction whatever they find within her forge, she continues always to hammer and forge and always to renew the individuals by means of new generation."

So next time you go to a museum, or watch a movie, or see any type of artist perform, know that there may be more to the story than meets the eye.