Music and visual art have a long standing relationship. From long ago you could find music being represented in the visual arts by means of instruments painted on vases and even walls.

Interest in the visual representation of music has grown and evolved over the years but it is nothing new.

Kandinsky in 1989 explored procedures specifically to emulate musical effects in painting. There was also at this time an establishment of music as a model of the arts as many artists wanted to reunite music and the visual arts.

The 20th century brought about a lot of visual art experiences that delved into musical genres as well as musical techniques. A lot of composers from the 20th century are known for enriching their work by the exploration of the visual arts.

Likewise we can see where those versed in the visual arts have expressed interest in what music does for their work. So there is interest on either side by either party of the musical field and the visual arts field.

The correlation between music and visual art is not just limited to the fine visual arts or to classical music. You can see a modern day correlation with music and visual street art.

Modern expressions of how music and visual arts come together can be seen in street art where mainly using graffiti markers, artists create masterpieces of music and musical instruments.More traditional artists use music to inspire them to create works and many musicians have noted to be thinking about painting while composing some of their best pieces.

A prime example would be Luis Mucillo who notes that his 2006 Piano concerto was initiated by a watercolor by Klee. Another example is Jorge Horst in 2010 who notes that he wrote “Bruma” while thinking of painting.

There have been attempts to visually translate musical works into painting by the likes of Barbe in 1992 and 2011 and Fantin-Latour in 2005. There have also been attempts to imitate the effects of music in art with one such case being Delacroix in Barbe 1999.

Beyond those that create visual art pieces and those who create musical pieces there are those that can experience a phenomena called synesthesia.

The American Psychological Association explains that synesthesia is a sensory condition where some people have the extraordinary ability to perceive heard music as an array of colors.

Persons who experience this phenomena are called synesthetes, they receive music and artwork on a different level and have a different connection with these arts. They are the epitome and the proof that music and the visual arts belong together.

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Written by Hao Nguyen
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.