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An enchanted ticket, speckled with the paints of artists past and present, allows me to enter any museum at any time to study, engage, and feel the mastery of the artists’ paint brushes in an effort to expand the use of my own. I set my plan of action: visits to the Musee Marmottan Monet and the Louvre in Paris, France, as well as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Each building contains the framed masterpieces that inspire a world without a need for translation.
In a quiet room, Monet comes alive through watery depictions of beauty. I find myself magically seated beside the river and become one of his subjects. The flowing beauty of mixed colors, blending and floating, connects me to the scene. A breeze wafting off from the Seine River entices me to come ever closer. Willows weep tears of lavender and aqua, and the artist is rendered in the water’s reflection. I could spend a lifetime in the tranquility of Monet’s world but the City of Lights beckons me on.
The Louvre offers a variety of genres, but I find myself drawn to the statues situated throughout the museum. Each teaching the lessons of life that remain relevant through the centuries. I observe Hercules struggle with the serpent, reminding me that good overcomes evil. The raw power exposed in the sinew of his arms and legs empowers me to stay strong in life. A second bronze figure is that of Diana of Versailles. With arrows held in the quiver upon her back and a young buck by her side, she embodies the strength that is found not only in man, but also in the grace of a woman. Continuing through the grand halls, I stumble upon the Kiss of Cupid and Psyche, chiseled by hand into the glorious marble, the transcending connection between man and woman. Their arms are locked and their faces speak of the enduring love that has allowed the world to continue, generation after generation. The statues of the Louvre are as relevant today as they were at the time of their creation. Whether we are fighting serpents, finding inner strength, or discovering a passion, the statues are symbolic of man even today.
As I enter the Museum of Modern Art, it is obvious that art can also be a living and breathing embodiment of emotions captured in the 20th and 21st centuries. Techniques and challenging pieces respond to a world that is constantly changing as artists share their visions through a variety of media. Paper, paints, plastics, and photography help to push art into a new dimension. There are no limits in modern art beyond that of the artist’s vision. Profound, and at times uncomfortable, modern art is not necessarily pretty. Instead, its provocative nature reaches into the depths of our souls, causing us to feel unexplained emotions.
The paint on the ticket has faded with use, and no longer offering entrance, it becomes a new work of my own making. I have learned the lessons taught through the hands of the masters both past and present. My life’s palette expands with the shades of passion held within the walls of museums. Their treasures of beauty, strength, endurance and love will complete my range of colors as I seek to create my own masterpieces, both on canvas and in life.
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