Guest’ Post by Julia Tang
This past summer, I had the opportunity to venture across the Atlantic to study abroad in Italy. For the first three days in Italy, I, along with my classmates, had the chance to see some of the most fascinating man-built architecture, one of the many wonders of the world: the Roman Colosseum, pantheon. Moreover, we even toured through some of the most prominent museums in Florence (e.i. Uffizi Gallery, Galleria dell’Accademia) perusing through famous renaissance paintings and gawking at the grandeur of talented-hand molded sculptures.
You see many images, sample images using the Colosseum as wallpapers or other ornamental purposes. At some point, when you look at it so many times, you become desensitized to that image. Likewise, I had seen the Colosseum and Pantheon many times before, so I knew what to expect; however, words cannot describe the awestruck feeling I felt when I stepped foot inside the Colosseum and imagined what it felt like standing as a spectator jeering/cheering at the gladiators and slaves who risked their lives for entertainment.
When I first admired the paintings and sculptures in art history class in high school, it fascinating of course, but it’s not the same feeling as seeing/experiencing the live feeling of being there, staring at the real/original sculptures–learning to appreciate the hard work and art work that was able to endure many years of passing through hands of both artists and non-artists alike. Furthermore, once I saw the real, larger-than-life-size sculptures, then leaving and stepping into the markets of sellers coaxing passersby around the town to buy souvenirs of mini duplicates, but none can ever compare to the every meticulous detail the artist once had intended on the original.
With paintings, that were larger than the size of my computer screen, I was able to gaze at the brush stroke–delving in deeper into the meaning of the paintings. Merely looking at them through saturated screens, being present brought about a different feeling (sometimes, words do feelings little justice).
It truly was a “seeing (it in person)to believe” moment that I can never forget.