I don’t know when that picture was painted.

“Art seems to have many secrets. Perhaps we have to know a lot of complicated things -and read all these books over many years, as part of a PhD programme- to understand it. Studying very hard here might perhaps tell us what one is supposed to think about the altarpieces downstairs.

But maybe we don’t, in fact, need to know all that much to get something out of art. What if getting a lot from art required a subtly different set of skills? What if a genuine love of art didn’t, in fact, need to take the long path through the library? What if it were about more obvious and more direct things, like asking yourself what you intuitively feel when you look at something, and trying to find a place for art in your own life?

For some academics, there might be dangerous thoughts. We’re very reluctant to put ourselves at the center of such a noble stage as that of the powerful art world. But that’s really what art is for -it’s about us.

You are the hero of the museum. You’re already quite well equipped.”

SICKNESS. I don’t know when that picture was painted.

Alain de Botton & John Armstrong (@ Rijks Museum — Art is Therapy)

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