To summarize what we have learnt from earlier posts:

How to Appreciate Paintings #80: Part 1: The title of the painting is the name of the painting and it is given by the artist after the painting is completed.

How to Appreciate Paintings #81: Part 2: The title of the painting provides information about the painting and this information is what the artist wants the viewer to know, from the artist’s perspective.

How to Appreciate Paintings #82: Part 3: The title of the painting is an afterthought of the artist as all that needs to be said is already in the painting.

How to Appreciate Paintings #83: Part 4: The title of the painting can significantly and unconsciously affect the viewer’s response to the painting.

So, how should we use the title of the painting in our appreciation of the painting?

The title of the painting is a message from the artist that provides useful information that helps us, the viewer, to understand the painting. The title of the painting is best used to supplement, not usurp, our appreciation of the painting. The way to do it is to look at the painting first, before looking at the title.

How to appreciate paintings? Looking at the painting first before looking at the title of the painting enhances our experience and appreciation of the painting.

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