Sunday afternoon in the National Gallery in London


I am standing in front of an example of art history that, due to its beauty and background, is also an investment. The wonderful 1905 painting Madame Matisse in a Kimono by André Derain is on loan to the National Gallery in London from a private collection.

Art is so precious, but we still wonder why. Why do we pay millions for a painting? What makes a work of art so precious? My answer: art makes us happy, it gives us new intellectual impulses, it prompts us to think about the world around us, it brings us back to our inner lives, and it is beautiful. The artist creates a miniature world in each piece. It is this world that invites us to step in and enjoy. Art can be political, and when we reflect on it, we become critical. It preserves history. It can significantly impact and influence our thoughts on so many aspects of our lives and of the world. It contains secrets as well. There are so many aspects in this context -maybe a topic for my next book.

So, do not ask why art is expensive, as it does not matter how much we pay. You could admire a small drawing by your three-year-old daughter more than an impressionistic painting.

Do you think the sitter is sleeping in this wonderful painting? One day, the owner will take this work of art back. I am jealous.

These are just some of my observations during a Sunday afternoon meditating on art in the National Gallery.