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The Old Masters Can Inspire The New Artists

Guest Post by Steve Fowler

If my teenage daughter’s taste in art and music is representative of the majority of her generation, it can be assumed that the next superstar will be the product of inspiration provided by the last superstar.

Since I travel around the world I have the unique opportunity to get a glimpse of many different cultures. It seems, at least for the young generation, inspiration for new, creative art and music is no more than one generation past and usually much less than that.

It might seem that up-and-coming artists are stuck in a rut. Then something happened that restored my faith in the value of those artists’ works  which have been around for hundreds of years. In February during one of the coldest weeks in recent years, I found myself going to the State Pushkin Museum of Art in Moscow. A temporary exhibit of the works of Caravaggio was being hosted. One might think that such harsh weather conditions would deter visitors. To my surprise there were Russians of all ages lined up for many yards and around the corner waiting for their turn to enter.

Russian art museum

The State Pushkin Museum of Art in Moscow

It didn’t surprise me that citizens of a country which has such a rich cultural history would flock to an exhibit of Caravaggio’s best paintings. After all, to see these paintings in their usual environment would require a lengthy journey and, quite likely, a visa. What did surprise me was the inconvenience and harsh weather that so many had disregarded.

One of the paintings on display was Crucifixion of St. Peter. I had only just two weeks earlier been in Rome to see that painting myself. As I approached its usual spot in the Santa Maria Del Popolo I saw a notice announcing that it was on loan to the Pushkin Museum of Art in Moscow. Since I go to Rome so often I elected to visit the Pushkin European Gallery next door where no line existed.

As I have thought back on that frigid day in Moscow I have wondered if any of the fans of the Moscow band “Pussy Riot” were also braving the weather to pay a visit to a 500-year-old painting. I hope so.

Pussy Riot music band

Russian punk band Pussy Riot

Steve Fowler is a travel writer and planner for tours of Rome, Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as being a pilot for a legacy airline in the United States.

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