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Laura Rider's Masterpiece doesn't quite live up to billing

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Why is it that we are so fascinated with old paintings?

Is it because we can sympathize with the poor soul in Munch's "The Scream"? Do we long for a cool dip in Monet's "Water Lilies"? Or maybe we know just what DaVinci was thinking when he gave Mona Lisa her devilish smile.

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Perhaps we spend time gazing at the Old Masters because we think there's little chance we could pick up a brush, dip it in paint, and create such a work of art.

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