Essay Exploring Art Through Time: A Reflection on Historical Impact and Cultural Preservation

Published: 2024-01-26
Essay Exploring Art Through Time: A Reflection on Historical Impact and Cultural Preservation
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  History Culture Art
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1869 words
16 min read

Art expresses the imagination and creativity of an individual in conceptual ideas or technical skills. Across history, art has been effectively used to preserve people’s culture (Milbrandt, 2010). Across different generations, people interpret artworks depending on the time in history in which they were made. History has given some fine and famous artists like Pablo Picasso and Leonardo da Vinci. These people excelled in paintings and drawings that expressed outstanding elements of their times in history (Milbrandt, 2010). Today, one can reflect on artistic pictures through some of the everyday things they see in their daily lives. Some of the things people see today have been borrowed from historical pieces of art.

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In this research, my interest was in the general environment. The places where people live and operate can have a significant relationship with artistic creations from history. Art inspires people across different generations, and one could likely observe cultural patterns in their daily activities. The current generation has modernized elements of art from history. They have made them intriguing and exciting for the people.

Nonetheless, what they have made new today will be considered old art in history. It is a matter of a generation taking over from the other and passing across to the next. When this succession is done progressively, useful arts will never be forgotten, the same way good deeds will remain forever.

When undertaking the research, I could see countless sightings that resembled history and artistic work from the past. People with rich knowledge of artwork will almost see everything compared to something they have seen in the past. There is always a significant relationship. Other than the human-made features of the world, the natural physical attributes resemble an artwork. It sends the message that artists inspire what is created by people, but they are also inspired by the natural environment (Chloe & Edwin, 2019). It is a give-and-take relationship. Art has grown from the era of paintings and drawings to the current world of pictures and videos. Nonetheless, the intimacy of people’s relationship with artistic work has not been lost.

The view of art changes from one generation to another, but things remain the same. Among the significant shifts include the execution of artistic work. In the ancient days, art mainly came through drawings and paintings. In the era of the likes of da Vinci, they used wet plaster or dry stone walls (Dutton, 2009). In the times of Pablo Picasso, the primary medium was ceramics or oil paint (Dutton, 2009). In the current generation, computers and refined pencil drawing are synonymous with artwork.

Further, some use spray paint to create murals of their idols in different places across the world (Dutton, 2009). Therefore, one can correctly argue that art has evolved. It is not what it was two centuries ago, and will also be different in years. Nonetheless, it is essential to preserve what it is today for the reference of future generations.

Connection to Art History

Art has been there for ages and will be in existence for years to come. Art history is split into different periods and timelines. Nevertheless, most people are only conversant with periods starting in the 5th century to today. Among the periods include Medieval (6th – 15th century), Renaissance (15th – 17th century), Mannerism (1527–1580), Baroque (1600 – 1750), Neoclassicism (1750 – 1850), Romanticism (1780-1750), Realism (late 1800’s) and modern-day contemporary art (Chloe & Edwin, 2019). However, there are other periods in history that have been named by art historians. Each period was unique through its most prominent artists and the design. Some pieces of historical records call them art movements, other than periods.

Every art movement is essential, and they have all contributed differently to the rich history of the concept. The Renaissance period is one of the most famous of all. Michelangelo, Giorgio Vasari, Giotto, and Caravaggio are among the most famous artists (Jardine & Brotton, 2007). The period marked a transition from the Middle Ages to modernity, characterized by extraordinary changes in the creation and perception of art. Leonardo da Vinci is considered the most outstanding talent of this period (Jardine & Brotton, 2007). His paintings, drawings, sculpting, and engineering innovations have lived to tell the story of a man who inspired a generation. His most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, is a massive attraction at the Louvre Museum in France (Marsili et al., 2019). This underpins the fact that the world still appreciates the works of art from history.

Renaissance contributed to a significant shift in the view of art, as well as its presentation. Another significant change in art history came during the Romanticism period. In this period, artists like William Blake, Caspar David Friedrich, and Francisco Goya made great art pieces that people still marvel at today (Ferber, 2010). The effect of this period can be compared to that of the medieval art movement. In the construction of the old cities, medieval art is reminiscent. There are tens of medieval cities in Europe, which took after the illusions and imaginations of medieval artists. Cities like Prague, London, Rothenberg, Venice, and Istanbul are medieval in their structuring and appearance, inspired by medieval art (Jardine & Brotton, 2007).

Art has major roles that it plays in society, and one of them is connecting different time periods. The present connects to the past through art. If the artists of the olden days returned to the world, they would see a reflection of their conceptual ideas and technical ability in the visuals around them. They would likely point to a thing or two that has been inspired by their drawings. When Victor Hugo penned the historical novel Notre Dame de Paris in 1831, he would never have imagined that his fictional views would inspire its architectural renovations in the mid-19th century (Walker, 2019). Therefore, people’s engagement with artwork, be it books, paintings, drawings, or any other art piece, could go a long way in inspiring the world’s outlook in later days. The Great Wall of China was built in ancient times, estimated around 221 BC (Ma et al., 2020). The builders of houses in modern days could be taking inspiration from the old piece of art.

Works of art have been received differently by people, and they have a special place in their lives, depending on the impact. Across the different art history movements, the standout works have defied the test of time and remained relevant today (Preziosi, 2009). The results of past experts still inspire some artists. Different artistic professions and careers draw inspiration from the periods in history. The current generation needs to understand the historical progress and how the sightings they make today could have been picked from past paintings or designs or any other work of art. The Montagne Sainte Victoire with a large Pine drawing by Paul Cezanne in 1887 has a semblance to the golf course’s image during the field research. There are trees in the background and short savanna vegetation in either of the pictures.

One can make interpretations of present-day sightings when they are compared to past works of art. The image of the window (image 1) in the appendix resonates well with Casper Friedrich’s painting, Woman at the Window of 1822. Whenever a window is involved, it evokes the feeling that the character involved is casting their eyes out into the world to see the things happening there. Windows are symbolic of a visual aid to the outside world. In the drawing by Friedrich, nature is visible through the window. Similarly, the cameraperson in the image can see the outside world through the glass window. Anyone who has come across the painting can easily relate it to the current image. The connection between history and the present day is immense.

When one sees the masts hosting telecom boosters, they remember the Eiffel Tower in France; when the alarm clock calls in the morning, it could evoke memories of the first clock; drawing a curtain at the home window could reminisce the Trompe-l’Oeil Still Life with a Flower Garland and a Curtain by Adriaen van der Spelt in 1658 (Preziosi, 2009). The past has its place in the present. The past heroes of art behaved like forecasters of how the future would look in their absence (Preziosi, 2009). They gave the world a reason to look back and make improvements. The world set its foundation upon the acts and arts of the people who lived there before (Kristen, 2012). Nothing much has changed from the original design, other than improvements to match present-day demands and requirements. The wheel was invented in the 17th century, and it is still relevant today.


What one sees today and thinks that is very new could have been there in the old days. The moment an individual revisits the history of art, they have a chance to locate something they potentially thought was very new. In the current world, one would say that everything is an improvement of what had been imagined in the past. The raw figuration of things and the presentation of imagination have been improved by technology and scientific growth. Nonetheless, much of what the artists of the early days had left is reflected today in the things that people do. The artwork is primarily stored for exhibition and preservation of history. Anyone who wants to see the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, or Friedrich can visit a museum where their artworks are stored. Nevertheless, some walk into those museums to look for design inspirations in construction and other areas of expertise worldwide.

There is an undeniable connection between the past and the present. The artists of yesteryears are legends in their own right, and their impact is felt to date. From the analysis and matching, one can easily spot the relationship between past artwork and the world’s current state. Suppose a local scene can produce so many matchups. In that case, one can only imagine the number of times that different pieces of art have been replicated across the world. Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has been done in songs, films, digital printings, and other forms of art (Marsili et al., 2019). In keeping up with the spirit of art passing culture across generations, the world will keep sharing artwork as the years pass. New art pieces will emerge, but they can never replace the place in history occupied by their predecessors.

In summary, art will keep developing, and people will continue revering to the fantastic concepts idealized and presented by different artists. History will always bring on board great memories of developments made by artists in various industries. There are many who will draw inspiration from the artists of today, as the current ones draw inspiration from those who came before them. It is a cycle that will continue for ages. The most important thing is to ensure that art enriches people's history and preserves the most important events and aspects of society. The lenses of future generations to see the past are held in artworks. They are maintained on people’s walls and those of museums. Such preservation will only bring the people closer to what has defined them over the years.

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