read an introspective painting

How to read an introspective painting

(Estimated Reading Time: 3 min, 37 sec)

Q:What emotional experience can I have looking at an introspective painting? What is more important than the brushstroke, the originality, the play of colors?

The world appears as an image, but two people from the same porthole do not see the same thing.

Chains - acrylic painting by Aurora Mazzoldi - Hpw to read an introspective painting.
Chains; acrylic painting by Aurora Mazzoldi.

While one admires the colors of the sunset, the other marvels at the immensity of space; a third trembles, thinking about the depths of the sea over which their ship is sailing.


Everyone looks at what surrounds them through the filter of their emotions — whether it is the emotion of the moment or a habitual state of mind.

While looking from that porthole, the person who at that moment is sad will think of the passing of time — just like a ship on the waves — and the non-return of lost things; the curious person will look excited at dolphins; the pessimistic person will scan the horizon searching for the hurricane that will surely come.

Even looking at a painting of Introspective Art, everyone sees or feels different things.

But the message of the painting is universal: it is common to all people and is very specific.

The diversity of the impressions we receive, and the difference in emotional experience, depend on our inner filters, those that veil our eyes and deceive our perceptions.

Calming the mind

The “smart” way to look at an Introspective Art painting is to calm the mind. In this way, we can listen, while observing, to every impression it arouses in us.

In most cases, our inner filters block or deflect them. If the message concerns us too closely, we might turn our eyes away, or convince us we are superior to these things.

Why do we act in this way?

Images, as well as sounds, trigger in us openness or closure. If we remain open, sensations, impressions, stimuli, everything can enter through that door. This scares us because we are not used to manage emotions.

Closing emotions off does not protect us.

It limits understanding and having important emotional experiences.

A painting of Introspective Art can make us curious and willing to discover more. We can find joy and have some well-being, or feel disturbed by it. Both situations attract us.

What we reject is what we don’t want to see within ourselves. If we follow this track, we get in touch with our most intimate part.

We can say that everything in the painting that attracts us and makes us curious — whether it be an expression, a posture, a color etc. — can refer to emotional experiences that we would like to have. What we reject are dark recesses within ourselves that we are not yet willing to explore. But, of course, what the Introspective Art painting tells and shows us is far more than that.

The message of the introspective painting “Chains”

An ordinary painting enthusiast just looks at the color, the subject, the technique. He listens to see if the painting inspires pleasure in him, and if it agrees with what he feels. But the attentive observer wonders about the message of the painting. Then they realize the special bond between the two figures.

Some see two little girls playing, others a girl with her doll, and others a mother with her child.

The painting recalls a strong bonding relationship between the two subjects.

It could just as well be a codependency relationship between two adult partners.

But what emotions arise when you see such a binding relationship? The mother is holding her little girl close and watching her: she’s mine, and she’s here!

In the picture, the little girl looks very much like a doll. In fact, the possessiveness of the mother (or the older child) reduces the person to an object. Doesn’t this lead us to consider our possessive attachments to the people we fear losing?

Love and Power

The picture shows us where the fine line between what we call love and what is power lies. Perhaps we feel led to ask questions about why there are tensions in our relationship.

And how does the baby/doll react to being taken?

She accepts it. In her laughing gaze we can catch the cunning of someone who thinks she can turn the situation to her apparent advantage, of someone who thinks she can “tease everyone”.

“You want to keep me close? Then take me around, and you do the work!”

Both seem satisfied. Each gets power from it. They get both the illusory security of keeping someone tied to them forever.

But the title of the painting brings us to the reality of the situation: a bond that limits the freedom of both and undermines their potential.

A chain, indeed.

Everyone has their interest.

Everyone follows their aspiration, feels their emotions, and uses everything around to achieve their goals.

Furthermore, everyone takes from an introspective picture the tone they need to color their life, to have a given emotional experience, to move forward to the next adventure.

In everyone’s mind, this appears logical. But we forget that, at the base of every preference, there is a choice of color, emotion, reaction, and life.

Aurora Mazzoldi


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