Title Creatorsort icon Date Era City Country Emotional Sum (Sense of Life or emotional World View) Theme
Design for Living Writer: Noel Coward 1932 1900s United Kingdom

Life can be giddy and bright. Facing up to one's anti-conventional values is important. Conventional morality must be questioned if it causes suffering and conflict.

You should follow your deepest values and accept them no matter how unconventional the outcome.

A rare combination of the wittiest, lightest of Noel Coward's style, along with deeper themes of romantic love, proper morality and how should one live.

Hyacinths to feed thy soul White, James Terry: 1911c 1900s United States

Hopeful. Even in poverty one can have beauty.

Beauty is a form of sustenance

Chocolate Pitcher and Butter Dish Villeroy & Boch: 1930 Germany

Friendly warmth (arising from the simple graceful lines, and the unadorned simplicity of the colors without ornament)

Euphronios Krater aka Sarpedon Krater Vase Painter: Euphronios 515 BC Greece

Exquisitely beautiful hardship.

Brass Bowl, The Vance, Louis Joseph: 1907 1900 - 1950 United States

The world is a delightful place. Good things happen to the deserving.

Life as a gay, lighthearted adventure.

Wait for Your Soldier Singing Group: Soviet Army Chorus and Band unknown mid-20th century 1900s Russia

Happiness triumphs.

The power of joy to motivate action.

Landfall Shute, Nevil: 1940 1900 - 1950 United Kingdom

Heroes and Heroines are self-made, by anyone at any level of intelligence who seriously pursues what is important in their lives.

Truth will triumph -- with perseverance.

Niobe Sculptor: unknown c. 200 BC Rome Italy

Human action is beautiful.

Life is movement.

Chariot of Apollo Sculptor: Jean Baptiste (1630-1700) Tuby 1668-1670 1600s Versailles France

The world has thrilling powerful men of action.  There are no limits to what can be achieved.

Elegant, physical power.  The fantasy ability to fly through water and air with grace and ease.

Diana Sculptor: Auguste Saint-Gaudens 1892 1900s New York United States

Serenity in action. But not a strong world view in any case, quite placid.

Rape of Polyxena, The Sculptor: Pio Fedi 1866 1800s Florence Italy

Strength and complex beauty are central. Vitality, passion and action are hallmarks of this work.

Life is complex strife, entwined with strong god-like characters.

Three Graces Sculptor: Antonio Canova 1814 1800s Italy

The female human form is beautiful, graceful, ideal.

Quiet repose and sisterly love. The piece exudes a quiet elegance and peacefulness amidst the complex three-dimensional composition. The inclusion of "sisterly love" is less certain, except that taking into account the mythological background of the piece. It can be argued that one should not take that into account, so perhaps that should not formally be included in the theme.

David Sculptor: Michelangelo Buonarotti 1504 1500s Florence Italy

Man is a strong, indomitable creature who has the intelligence to overcome terrible odds.

[requires assumption of some context of this work -- not a "cold" introduction to it]: A man able to face a daunting task, with tremulous calm and determination. This is the depiction of the David/Goliath story of the Bible in which David takes on the much more formidable Goliath and wins.

Pieta Sculptor: Michelangelo Buonarotti 1500 1500s Rome Italy

Life is acceptance of pain. Resignation in the face of tragedy.

Resignation and sorrow for a great personal loss.

Laocoon (Laocoön and His Sons) Sculptor: Agesander 1st century BCE to 1st century CE 500 BCE - 1 CE Rome Italy

Life is a desperate, agonizing struggle.

The heroic but agonizing defeat of Men. This sculpture certainly represents at the same time the heroic nature of men but cast into an impossible situation that can only be tragic.

Brief Encounter Screenwriter: Noel Coward 1945 1931-1950 United Kingdom

Passionate love. Tragic choices.

High romance is possible. Such love is unlikely to survive. This film manages to embrace two contradictory themes, leading to a major bittersweet outcome.

3 Idiots Screenwriter: Chopra Vidhu Vinod 2009 1991-2010 India

Life can be fun and productive and exciting. As is true in some other Bollywood features, this story and the ideas behind it about pursuing the good life, has an honesty and clarity and benevolence that is not part of the U.S. movie scene.

Be what you want to be; follow your passion in life

Octopus Schaefer, Taf Lebel: 2005

Playful.

Shade, The Rodin, Auguste: 1880-1904 1900s Paris France

Life is a gruesome trial. There is no hope.

The world destroys man. (Some unknown evil force is destroying this young strong man.) Given that the sculpture is titled as a "Shade" and is related to the Group sculpture "Gates of Hell", one can presume the evil is some unnamed condition that can overpower life and cause destruction of the good.

Anthem Rand, Ayn: 1938, revised 1946 1900 - 1950

The book starts out psychologically dark and disorienting because of the protagonist struggling with the radically collectivist world he was born into. But what shows even in the early pages, and grows to the climax is the triumphant struggle of a rare few who break free of the yoke of total mind control and become free to live a life as a conceptual human and rediscover what it means to be an individual. Thrilling and emotionally satisfying (unless the reader is a committed determinist.)

Ego and using one's individual mind is the core of being human.

Othello: the Moor of Venice Playwright: William Shakespeare 1603 1600s Stratford-on-Avon United Kingdom

Malevolence and horrible tragedy is unrelieved.  Evil is potent.

A great man can be gullible and controlled by an evil character.  Or, an evil character can have potency in the world, because of the weakness of a good man.

Much Ado About Nothing Playwright: William Shakespeare 1993 1991-2010

Sweetness and light and beauty are what the world is made of.

Cyrano de Bergerac Playwright: Edmond Rostand 1897 1900s France

Life can be exciting. Life can be grand, literally. There is also some great sadness about consummated love, since it is portrayed as unreachable.

The importance of independence and independent thought. Compromise is deadly to one's soul. Sub-themes: a) Doubt of one's goodness because of an incidental fact (physical feature) is terribly damaging and tragic. b) Helping someone by faking reality is damaging and can come to no good.

Pirelli Calendar Diver Photographer: Uwe Ommer 1984 Italy

Women can be strong, dynamic and unconsciously beautiful.

Wisdom and Strength Painter: Paolo Veronese 1580c 1500s Venice? Italy

Sumptuousness is good, and the human form is good.