Art History & Appreciation

There are works of art so inherently beautiful or stunning that anyone looking at them ends up choking back tears, or standing transfixed, or simply unable to breathe for several seconds. What you won't often hear is that those are the exceptions, that most paintings, buildings and sculptures require anterior knowledge to be fully appreciated.

Once you know what to look for, the once-abstruse and confusing world of chiaroscuro, Pre-Raphaelite, and oxidation fire becomes navigable and even a welcome place from the ho-hum mundanities of the everyday world. Though, of course, we'd be the last to encourage art appreciation for mere escapism—if a work can't reveal some element of human nature or help us understand things a little better, it isn't worth much.

This is one reason a lot of modern art can't really be considered art at all. It isn't intended to reveal anything, but simply to be "living commentary," a mere reflection, not of reality, but of the artist's inner conflict or angst. Sometimes it's not even that deep, and simply reflects the belief that there is no meaning in the world, that everything is empty, that nihilism is the only truth.

We reject those claims entirely. Everything is meaningful because Christ has made it so. Taken too far that idea is sometimes used to defend all kinds of non-art and just plain bad art, but all it really means is that everything is either consistent with or in rebellion against God's truth, and that artistic endeavours reveal which side the artist is on.

For Christians, understanding art from this perspective should be the primary motive in studying anything from the Sistine Chapel to Rembrandt's portraits to the illustrations of N.C. Wyeth. Art has the potential to entertain and delight, but it also affects the attitudes and thoughts of those who come in contact with it. Understanding a work's context and significance will immensely help us determine whether it's beneficial or pernicious.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

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27 Items found Print
Active Filters: 1st grade (Ages 6-7)
Art Coloring Book
by Sarah Courtauld
from Usborne
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
Art Museum: A Sticker Story Coloring Book
by Sylvia Walker
Clr Csm from Dover Publications
for Kindergarten-5th grade
Art Smart: Spot the Details and Find Out the Facts
Act from Dover Publications
for 1st-7th grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ELE-ARTHIS)
$9.99
ArtWorks for Kids
by Lori Schue
from Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
for 1st-6th grade
in Evan-Moor Art & Drawing (Location: I)
$21.99
Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin
by Marguerite Henry
from Beautiful Feet Books
for 1st-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$9.50 (1 in stock)
Child's Book of Art
by Lucy Micklethwait
from DK Publishing
for Preschool-1st grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ELE-ARTHIS)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Come Look With Me: American Indian Art
by Stephanie Salomon
1st Edition
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ELE-ARTHIS)
$10.00 (2 in stock)
Come Look With Me: Animals in Art
by Gladys S. Blizzard
from Charlesbridge
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ELE-ARTHIS)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Come Look With Me: Art in Early America
by Randy Osofsky
from Charlesbridge
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ELE-ARTHIS)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Come Look With Me: Artist at Work
by R. Sarah Richardson
from Charlesbridge
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ELE-ARTHIS)
$16.95
Come Look with Me: Enjoying Art with Children
by Gladys S. Blizzard
from Charlesbridge
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ELE-ARTHIS)
$12.00 $6.00 (1 in stock)
Come Look With Me: Exploring Landscape Art With Children
by Gladys S. Blizzard
from Charlesbridge
for 1st-3rd grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ELE-ARTHIS)
$16.95
Come Look With Me: World of Play
by Gladys S. Blizzard
from Charlesbridge
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ELE-ARTHIS)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Country Artist
by David R. Collins
from First Avenue Editions
Biography for Preschool-3rd Grade
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
Degas and the Little Dancer
by Laurence Anholt
from Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
Discover Great Paintings
by Lucy Micklethwait
from DK Publishing
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ELE-ARTHIS)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
Discovering Great Artists
by MaryAnn F. Kohl & Kim Solga
from Bright Ring Publishing
for Preschool-6th grade
in Great Artists (Location: ELE-ARTISTS)
$16.11 $13.00 (2 in stock)
Elizabeth Fry
from Emerald Books
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Christian Heroes: Then and Now (Location: BIO-BENGE)
$8.49
Emily's Blue Period
by Cathleen Daly & Lisa Brown
from Roaring Brook Press
for 1st-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself
by Margaret Frith
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 1st-3rd grade
in Great Artists (Location: ELE-ARTISTS)
$3.50 (1 in stock)
Genius of Leonardo
by Guido Visconti, Bimba Landmann
from Barefoot Books
for 1st-6th grade
in Great Artists (Location: ELE-ARTISTS)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Linnea in Monet's Garden
by Christina Bjork & Lena Anderson
from R&S Books
Biography for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Great Artists (Location: ELE-ARTISTS)
$6.00 (2 in stock)
Linnea's Almanac
by Cristina Bjork
from R&S Books
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ELE-ARTHIS)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
Masterpiece of the Month
by Jennifer Thomas
from Teacher Created Materials, Inc.
for 1st-3rd grade
in Art History & Appreciation (Location: ELE-ARTHIS)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
Pieter Brugel
by Mike Venezia
from Children's Press
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
Salvador Dali
by Mike Venezia
Revised from Children's Press
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Great Artists (Location: ELE-ARTISTS)
You're a Grand Old Flag
by Norman Rockwell
from Atheneum
for 1st-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.00 (1 in stock)