Let us now look at the paintings at the art gallery. 

There is no right or wrong way to look at paintings but there are of course ways of looking at paintings that increases the appreciation of paintings.  

When we look at a painting hung on a wall, we need to move ourselves in various distances and angles to have a “complete” look of the painting. 

From the standard position (How to Appreciate Paintings #68), we form our first impression of the painting.  We get a sense of what the painting is about by having an overview of the painting with some details.  Next we move ourselves to look at the painting from different distances. 

Stepping forward to move closer and closer to the painting until we are a breath away (but please do not touch the painting), we begin to see changes to the painting: lines that were incomprehensible become exact, details start to appear, strokes become visible, figures that were clear become blurred, colours start to change, texture becomes obvious. 

Stepping backward to move further and further from the painting until we see only the outline of the painting (or as far as we can because not all galleries have luxury of space), we begin to see changes to the painting: lines that were unintelligible become obvious, the overall feel of the painting starts to form, strokes become invisible, figures that were vague become sharp, colours start to change, texture feels different.

Simply varying our distances from which we look at the painting can bring about pleasant surprises.  It makes us discover more about the painting and helps us to appreciate the painting.   

How to appreciate paintings?  Looking at the painting at different distances from the painting adds to our appreciation of the painting.  

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