James Elkins wrote a terrific article in The Huffington Post that asks whether artists are ever bored with their own work. Mr. Elkins explores the topic through a comparison of Renaissance and modern artists and their processes for creating art. The article then takes a surprising twist: it turns out that boredom is a fairly recent word that only surfaced after the Industrial Revolution. In essence, boredom only surfaced with the emergence of the middle class.
So what does that have to do with art? Before the Industrial Revolution, artists were never bothered with the tedium of life. Boredom wasn’t a part of their emotional vocabulary. The reason that paintings before the Industrial Revolution look like they took a long time to paint is because they did take a long time to paint, but that never bothered anybody. Modern and contemporary art looks skittish and impatient by comparison.
Read the full article: Are Artists Bored by Their Work?