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Images offer a powerful way to communicate. A single image can relate more to a person than text can. An artist can create a piece of artwork to express how he or she feels or how they see something. Over time the art that was created long ago can change meaning from what the artist originally intended and the perception can change as well, either through mystification or personal experiences. Author John Berger in his book Ways of Seeing writes about the various ways in which this can happen. By looking at descriptions of paintings done by a fellow student, a professional critic and myself we can see how different people “view” the painting and analyze how those different views can bring change to the paintings meaning. When looking at the descriptions of the painting, Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, differences are seen in what each individual person sees. In my personal description of Last Judgment the focus is geared more towards the colors used and the description of the smaller sections of the painting. For example “The color scheme is blue for the most part. In the lower right corner there is a section of red color surrounding a group of individuals. One of those individuals is painted in greater detail; perhaps he has a greater importance in the painting as a whole.” This is in contrast to my classmate’s description which focuses more on the scenes in the painting. For example, “Above are clouds and crowds of people in what looks like heaven in the top left a bunch of people are holding onto a cross and in the top left it looks like they are holding on to a pillar.” In each of the descriptions both viewers see something different in the same image. These differences in observations are perhaps brought on by personal experiences in life, previous exposure to art or something else entirely. What’s interesting to note is that both viewers gain their own individual understanding of the image.
Although there are some differences in the descriptions, for the

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