Creative Thought of the Week: Musical Art History

art, Creativity 101, Uncategorized, Understanding Creativity

Last week in creativity class, we talked about music and how it inspires us. This week, I’ve used music to study for my art history exam.

You might be wondering how I could possibly study my Italian Renaissance art flash cards with the help of music. And here’s what I did: For each work of art, I associated it with a song by listening to the song while studying that work. And then the song helps me remember things about the work of art.

For example:

  1. “Let It Be” The Beatles

Filippino Lippi, Vision of Saint Bernard, c. 1485

Lippi - Saint Bernard.jpg

In “Let It Be,” the lyrics go,

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me

It’s almost as if the song lyrics describe the subject matter of the painting, which is incredible since the two are from such different eras of history. And the song makes the painting’s content easier to remember.

In the painting, Vision of Saint Bernard, the patron (the guy in the bottom right corner) is having a vision of St. Bernard, who in turn is having a vision of Mary. It’s about having religious inspiration in a time of need. By listening to “Let It Be,” I can connect the theme of a painting from the 1400s with the theme in a Beatles song, which not only helps me study the painting, but is pretty awesome in itself.

It seems people in the Renaissance period have something in common with people in the ’60s: expressing divine inspiration through the arts, whether by painting or by song.

Now back to studying!



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