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 complement, not usurp, our appreciation of the painting. The way to do it is to look at the painting first, before looking at the title.

If we look at the title before we look at the painting, we are led to certain conclusions of the painting. When we look at the painting subsequently, we may inevitably see the painting the way we were led, by the artist, to see it.

If we look at the painting before we look at the title, we will see the painting for what it is, with no preconceived expectations. Our minds are free to wonder, explore, and imagine the painting. We will form our own conclusions of the painting. When we look at the title eventually, our minds will again ponder, whether to resolve the conflict or harmonize the agreement, between we had thought the painting to be and what the title had said the painting is.

The entire experience of the painting is enhanced when we look at the painting first before we look at the title. We can indulge in our own story of the painting, before hearing the artist’s story of her painting.

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 by allowing us to explore and imagine the painting by ourselves, before knowing how the artist wants us to see the painting.

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