What is Traditional Art & its Importance for the Painter and for Society
Traditional art is art that is part of a culture of a certain group of people, with skills and knowledge passed down through generations from masters to apprentices. But on my “art world”, the academic environment, when we speak of Traditional Art, we are often referring to what we call Classical Art: the ideas that emerged from the Renaissance and Illuminism about what art should represent to society. These ideas emerged on the Renaissance, but lasted long after, until the 19th century. and these ideas and concepts are directly connected to Academicism. Academicism is the method of professionalizing art education, designed, formalized and taught by European art academies, starting on the 16th Century. There is in the academicism the appreciation of renowned masters, veneration of the classical tradition, and the adoption of concepts collectively formulated, that had, besides a aesthetic character, also ethical origins and purposes. And it is about these concepts that I propose to speak. At least, the concepts that I understand, and believe in. But, in short, the term Classical Art refers to, basically, all kinds of art that existed before Modern Art, before the Modernist Movement.
Artistic truths that may have been unchallenged in the past, are today immersed in a fierce ideological battle, and unless a defense is made for their persistence through the centuries to the present day, the market will happily leave them aside. The ‘artistic truths’ have been changing. Our idea about what is art is changing. But, anyhow, being the Art something with as purpose to make us think and reflect, as I have said before, I bring up the following issue: The generations from the 21st century are particularly vulnerable to the temptations and distractions that pervade our daily lives, being them television advertisements or the seductions of the internet, or others. There is little space left for reflection, and the "rest points" where we find solace are increasingly hard to find. And in a world where people live their lives in endless rush, and one may not find enough time to enjoy life as he would like to, we need to stop and think. We need, more than ever, this time to feel and reflect. We need to go back to understanding what beauty is, and how we can bring it to our lives. The same way we watch a movie to "forget about the world" for a couple hours, the art (or other kinds of art, since cinema is art) could to give us the chance to do the same, to reflect on points and topics important to society and our lives today. To speculate, perhaps, on how we can live better.
Art matters because it provides us the opportunity to stop the march of time, to be in front of ourselves and recognize what we have become. And the great Art is designed to express and deal with authentic emotions, but for the world's foremost authority on aesthetic issues, Professor Roger Scruton, much of the work produced in recent decades short of this wildly accepted standard. On the 20th century, the modernist movements had big influence over the global conscience about art. Different views on beauty, or maybe about the usefulness of beauty on art, emerged. But well, the way that "things appear to us" can radically change the way we see the world and thus the degree to which we value what is presented to us.
The artists of today seem to be more concerned about doing something that is unique in itself and not something with which they relate. Before, in their passions and affections, through their triumphs and tragedies, the great artists captured the human condition in its raw form, undiluted. But virtues of the classical art, including the ability to paint, have been neglected in recent decades.
But why the classical art is important? What is the role of Classical Art in a world that, apparently, moved p