The Future of Education

Edition 11

Accepted Abstracts

Meditation and Art - The Conscious Perception of the Great Works of Painting

Andreas De Bruin, Munich University of Applied Sciences (Germany)


The great masters of painting have themselves revealed that their works conceal exceptional power. To access this potency requires a special approach; the work’s image must be perceived and understood in all its depth. However, today’s museum visits are often characterized by how many works of art can be viewed in as short a period as possible, leaving little time to truly focus on the paintings, or to appreciate them in detail. Many visitors also lack the expertise that might enable them greater access to a painting. To bridge this gap, guided museum tours can be helpful, but the imparting of mere facts about the works in question can potentially create obstacles to one's personal access, as it excessively directs the process of perception. It’s important that space remains for the image itself to be discovered. Efforts in the field of art education must take these aspects into account. “Meditation and Art” presents a method that enables conscious perception of the paintings of the great masters.  Through concentration and focus, the observer is able to access the inner architecture of a great work of art, complementing the usual technical and historical analysis of a painting.  Thus mindfulness and meditation are effective tools that can add a new dimension to the appreciation and understanding of these masterpieces. This new form of art education includes four distinct parts: (I) walking meditation and silence meditation, (II) describing the image / aspects of a work, (III) an artwork`s historical development / stylistic contexts, (IV) final meditation. "Meditation and Art" was presented for the first time at the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum in 2017. Public workshops, private guided tours as well as university seminars have since been held in several major museums in Europe, and have met with great enthusiasm by participants. This article describes the approach based on a detailed case study.

Keywords: Mindfulness, Old Masters, painting, meditation, museum tour;

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