It is impossible to be a cultured person and not to know the outstanding works of art that humanity has created throughout its existence. Artistic creativity is one of the oldest ways to express your attitude to the world and present it to the viewer through the prism of your own perception.
Genre drawings and images of people and animals are found on the rocks of the caves of primitive people. Even then, a person had a need to share his attitude and well-known phenomena with others. Due to their fragility, paintings are short-lived, unlike sculptures. The oldest of them, which are kept in art museums, are only about five hundred to six hundred years old. But it often happens that looking at them, and even much later canvases, we do not understand the drama of the plots and the names of the paintings do not tell us anything. But knowing what the picture is about is very important in order to understand the artist's intention and the message that he left to us, his descendants.
With portraits, self-portraits, landscapes and still lifes, everything seems to be clear - the artist simply took a “photograph” with the help of paints and brushes, captured a moment from the life of nature and people. Even the genre scenes that we see in the paintings of the great masters of the past are relatively clear to us and sometimes even seem quite modern.
Another thing is biblical stories about which many have written. These subjects were popular and demanded by the main customers of the artists - the Church, which decorated the walls of temples with paintings. Ordinary customers - rich people and patrons of the arts - also wanted to hang religious stories on the walls of their chapels and castle walls. Due to this, most of the paintings reflect the most different, widely known and not very popular subjects that were found in the Bible. To understand their content, read this Book, and much will become clear to you in picturesque subjects.
Another layer of paintings is those that are difficult to understand and explain without knowing the history. They depict well-known historical plots and a picture, in fact, it depicts not only what we see painted on it, but a whole chain of events that cannot be seen with our eyes - you just need to know them. Study history and you will look with completely different eyes at those pictures, past which you used to pass indifferently. The same applies to paintings depicting fairy-tale plots and plots of legends.
There are two more types of paintings that many do not understand - abstract and surreal. It all depends on you. In such pictures, you can quite see even what the author of the picture did not expect. If you have a developed imagination and a flexible enough mind, you will like them and will be understandable, because the artist has given you the right to explain their content to yourself.