History lessons are aplenty from paintings.
Paintings have been created throughout the ages. Some paintings were created to record what was happening at the time, presenting us with history in a pictorial form. Many paintings were created by artists based on what they saw and felt in their time, presenting us with a personalized record of history.
From paintings, we can envisage how major historical events unfolded, from different viewpoints with differing opinions.
From paintings, we can see how the ordinary people lived in the past, be it 500 years ago or 5 years ago: the clothes they wore, the food they ate, the work they did, the games they played, the dreams they had.
From paintings, we can see how the land had changed over time, from woods to buildings, from small houses to high rise towers. We can marvel at intricate man-made architecture or admire the natural beauty of the environment, that may no longer exist.
From paintings, we can see how human relationships had changed across time; from hierarchical masters-servants to salaried workers, from shy glances to passionate kisses of couples, from warm communities to independent individuals.
History is made up of records of significant events and mundane day to day living. Paintings capture history through the hands of the artists, who interpret the world they live in according to what they see and feel.
How to appreciate paintings? When we are appreciating paintings, we are learning valuable lessons from paintings too.