Pictures and Tears

Book recommendation:
James Elkins: Pictures and Tears. A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings, Routledge, 2001,

Book has two parts:

The first part deals with the works of Sargent, Regnault, Picasso, Rothko and others on their history and importance and examines the states of people who cried in front of a painting. How to make the audience cry and whether education and familiarity with art have an effect on crying or not

The second part begins with an overview of the opinions of thinkers on crying. And then it shows how in the contemporary world shedding tears in front of a work of art has become a wrong thing. The specific audience considers the art of shedding tears as a form of weakness, or is so caught up in the history of the work that it is meaningless for them to see passion. Elkins says that he has suffered from the same problem and his understanding of art history does not allow him to fully face the work. This thinking has also expanded to the general audience and it seems that art should be viewed without much excitement.

Interestingly, most of the academics who had a tearful memory asked not to be named.