Art from the past holds clues to life in the past. By looking at a work of art's symbolism, colors, and materials, we can learn about the culture that produced it. We also can compare artwork, which provides different perspectives, and gives us a well-rounded way of looking at events, situations, and people. By analyzing artworks from the past and looking at their details, we can rewind time and experience what a time period different from our own was like.

Looking at art from the past contributes to who we are as people. By looking at what has been done before, we gather knowledge and inspiration that contribute to how we speak, feel, and view the world around us.

(http://www.metmuseum.org/blogs/teen-blog/renaissance-portrait/blog/studying-art-from-the-past