full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Luke Syson: How I learned to stop worrying and love "useless" art

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Two yaers ago, I have to say there was no problem. Two years ago, I knew exactly what an icon looked like. It looks like this. Everybody's icon, but also the dfuealt psoiotin of a curator of Italian Renaissance paintings, which I was then. And in a way, this is also another default selection. loaedrno da Vinci's exquisitely suloufl image of the "Lady with an Ermine." And I use that word, soulful, deliberately. Or then there's this, or rather these: the two versions of Leonardo's "Virgin of the Rocks" that were about to come together in London for the very first time. In the exhibition that I was then in the absolute throes of oiazngring. I was llteialry up to my eyes in Leonardo, and I had been for three years. So, he was oypiunccg every part of my brain. Leonardo had taught me, during that three years, about what a picture can do. About taking you from your own material world into a spiritual wlord. He said, actually, that he believed the job of the painter was to paint everything that was visible and invisible in the uvrseine. That's a huge task. And yet, somehow he aicehves it. He shows us, I think, the human soul. He shows us the capacity of ourselves to move into a spiritual realm. To see a vision of the universe that's more perfect than our own. To see God's own plan, in some sense. So this, in a sense, was really what I believed an icon was.

Open Cloze

Two _____ ago, I have to say there was no problem. Two years ago, I knew exactly what an icon looked like. It looks like this. Everybody's icon, but also the _______ ________ of a curator of Italian Renaissance paintings, which I was then. And in a way, this is also another default selection. ________ da Vinci's exquisitely _______ image of the "Lady with an Ermine." And I use that word, soulful, deliberately. Or then there's this, or rather these: the two versions of Leonardo's "Virgin of the Rocks" that were about to come together in London for the very first time. In the exhibition that I was then in the absolute throes of __________. I was _________ up to my eyes in Leonardo, and I had been for three years. So, he was _________ every part of my brain. Leonardo had taught me, during that three years, about what a picture can do. About taking you from your own material world into a spiritual _____. He said, actually, that he believed the job of the painter was to paint everything that was visible and invisible in the ________. That's a huge task. And yet, somehow he ________ it. He shows us, I think, the human soul. He shows us the capacity of ourselves to move into a spiritual realm. To see a vision of the universe that's more perfect than our own. To see God's own plan, in some sense. So this, in a sense, was really what I believed an icon was.

Solution

  1. literally
  2. leonardo
  3. achieves
  4. occupying
  5. organizing
  6. universe
  7. soulful
  8. years
  9. position
  10. world
  11. default

Original Text

Two years ago, I have to say there was no problem. Two years ago, I knew exactly what an icon looked like. It looks like this. Everybody's icon, but also the default position of a curator of Italian Renaissance paintings, which I was then. And in a way, this is also another default selection. Leonardo da Vinci's exquisitely soulful image of the "Lady with an Ermine." And I use that word, soulful, deliberately. Or then there's this, or rather these: the two versions of Leonardo's "Virgin of the Rocks" that were about to come together in London for the very first time. In the exhibition that I was then in the absolute throes of organizing. I was literally up to my eyes in Leonardo, and I had been for three years. So, he was occupying every part of my brain. Leonardo had taught me, during that three years, about what a picture can do. About taking you from your own material world into a spiritual world. He said, actually, that he believed the job of the painter was to paint everything that was visible and invisible in the universe. That's a huge task. And yet, somehow he achieves it. He shows us, I think, the human soul. He shows us the capacity of ourselves to move into a spiritual realm. To see a vision of the universe that's more perfect than our own. To see God's own plan, in some sense. So this, in a sense, was really what I believed an icon was.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
italian renaissance 2
leonardo da 2
decorative arts 2
european sculpture 2
pink elephant 2

Important Words

  1. absolute
  2. achieves
  3. believed
  4. brain
  5. capacity
  6. curator
  7. da
  8. default
  9. deliberately
  10. ermine
  11. exhibition
  12. exquisitely
  13. eyes
  14. huge
  15. human
  16. icon
  17. image
  18. invisible
  19. italian
  20. job
  21. knew
  22. leonardo
  23. literally
  24. london
  25. looked
  26. material
  27. move
  28. occupying
  29. organizing
  30. paint
  31. painter
  32. paintings
  33. part
  34. perfect
  35. picture
  36. plan
  37. position
  38. problem
  39. realm
  40. renaissance
  41. selection
  42. sense
  43. shows
  44. soul
  45. soulful
  46. spiritual
  47. task
  48. taught
  49. throes
  50. time
  51. universe
  52. versions
  53. visible
  54. vision
  55. word
  56. world
  57. years