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So something a little different from the usual posts. This one is not going to be about food, but something I felt during my Fall Break trip  to Chicago. I love Chicago. It is one of the big cities in the U.S. that I would really love to work/live in the future.

Chicago is a city rich in culture and diversity. I have visited Chicago many times in the past few years, but this time, instead of the usual reason of shopping, eating, and visit friends, I went because of my art history class. For the end of the term, we will have to write a paper on a painting from the late 19th century French art, mainly one from the impressionism period. What better place to visit than the Chicago Institute of Art. The museum houses more than 300,000 pieces of art and it has an especially impressive collection of French impressionism paintings. It is actually my third time to the Art Institute. During my visit I realized the importance of progression and the value of both history and modern world.

The traditional staircases of the original section of the art institute gives feeling of grandeur. The new contemporary section of the museum is bright and modern. Here is the perfect example of history mixed with the modern society.

This old verses new is also easily seen in paintings. I didn’t use to appreciate the progression of art, but after taking my art history course, I can better appreciate transition of art. The smooth and monumental history paintings of the 17th and 18th century changed very dramatically over the next century to rougher stylistic paintings. The powerful history painting subjects shifted to more daily life and still life paintings.

Adam and Eve (1533-1537) – Lucas Branach the Elder

A Sunday on La Brande Jatte (1884) – Georges Seurat

Painting has changed a lot over the centuries and it continues to evolve and shift through the ages. Just within this one building, there is the record of the old and the new. Even though our society is advancing it doesn’t mean we will forget history and the past.

 

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