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Looking at Pictures Berger Final Draft Upon receiving the assignment to visit the Museum of Fine Arts and pick a painting that seems silent and still yet invites conversation I was originally frustrated and wanted to just get it over with and pick out the first painting I saw However once I entered the museum my stress and frustration decreased and I wanted to take the time to appreciate the artwork and find a piece that thoroughly grabbed my attention The classic quiet building put me at ease and I began my search I passed many European paintings until one particular painting struck my eye It was a painting that spoke to me and induced conversation among the other visitors of the museum as well The painting possessed a beauty and a magnetism that I was drawn to It was an oil painting by Francois Joseph Navez titled Pilgrimage in the Roman Campagna The painting wielded mystification By Websters definition mystification means to perplex or bewilder However it is not the painting in itself that causes confusion it is the perception of the observer to the painting in collaboration with the meaning the painter intends to portray In this case Bergers definition of mystification as the process of explaining away what might otherwise be evident seems more appropriate Berger 112 Pilgrimage in the Roman Campagna also titled Visit to the Miraculous Shrine instantaneously forces the spectator to see the painting in two different ways before even looking at the painting The person could perceive the paintings significance as being the actual pilgrimage that was taken or could deem the importance as being the miraculous shrine Navez forces this elucidating division in several ways Firstly the painting has many focuses One of which is the imagery of the peasants A melancholy sensation emanates from these peasants As a spectator myself I found difficulty in diverting my attention away from this particularly somber setting My ardent concentration
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