"Art is an important agent then in the transmission of culture." Greenblatt p 439
As some of you may have noticed, I love art, in its many forms. I picked this quote from Greenblatt's article because I felt very passionate about his argument. Throughout history, art has been used as a teaching tool to cultures of the past (who were experiencing the culture first hand) and to present day views looking back on unfamiliar lives.
Greenblatt explained, "it (art) is one of the ways that the roles by which men and women are expected to pattern their lives are communicated and passed from generation to generation" (439). Throughout my college career, studying literature and the visual arts has taught me that this is true. For example, during the Romanesque and Gothic art movements, artists commissioned by churches used their paintings and sculptures to teach the viewer religious lessons.
Check out Gislebertus's sculpture Last Judgment found on the tympanum of Saint-Lazare. This Romanesque sculpture taught depicted the heavens and the hells, all the symbolism was known by the people of the past and now we also learn from this art because it gives us a look into their culture. Just as art work, literature has the same effects!
Go back to the Greenblatt page