This review on Art Contains spoilers. If you have not seen the chapter, we recommend you do it and then go back to read the review.
Chapter 11: The Falier Portrait Painter
Arte distances herself from Katarina, but in the short time they have together they go to a workshop, in which Arte listens to some words that will make her think. Art distances itself from many people and focuses on their work. Leo, for his part, is immersed in his affairs, but with the nostalgia of Art present. His apprentice therefore trying hard ends up passing out in front of Katarina, who cries. When he is better, Yuri reprimands Arte for this behavior. Arte finishes Katarina's painting and the girl grabs it and goes to show it to the man who said the words to Arte. Tutor and student have a conversation, accepting is the key. Yuri talks to Arte and makes him an undeniable offer.
This is one of those chapters where I don't know if it's good or bad. There are times when the parts don't connect as well and loose moments, in addition to using flashback of the same chapter, making the chapter and the information more redundant (this can be for many reasons). Also changes that do not seem so natural, such as Art and its reproach for its condition with which it was born and with which it must live. However, I also feel that the psychological condition of the characters has been addressed much more, especially Leo and Arte, not so much within them but because of their actions and relationships with others. I am undecided.
Art and Katarina
The relationship between Art and Katarina deteriorates, due to the work of Art. Katarina has a great appreciation for Art for everything he did for her (in the last chapter). An affective and even dependent relationship on the girl's part, which is understandable by her age. She found in her tutor someone to trust and who, among the people she met, is the best she understands. Art after having solved Katarina's problem was dedicated to his own. This seems normal to me, but there are things that I feel should have happened, like Katarina talking to her mother (it was established that mother and daughter would get along better) and that she later explained the situation to Arte. Those built ties were not felt as much.
Innocent but destructive words
Katarina ended up accompanying Arte to a workshop, this, perhaps, by the intervention of the Faliers. They arrive at the place and while Katarina is browsing, Arte is presented with an apprentice named Matei, who is not surprised to see her, even giving her signs of recognition and words, without misunderstanding, that touch the heart of Arte. It is something to admire that Art as a woman, noble and painter can arrive and have the position she is in. These words alone would not have affected Arte if she had not had doubts about her situation, she has not come to accept herself, she always fought against origin and her condition, not wanting to be recognized for it but for her abilities. This change of perspective seems fantastic to me. At the beginning they show us a girl who goes against the conventions, now they show us a girl who must accept herself and continue with her convictions.
Then we change planes and see Leo's routine, now without Art. It is curious how the absent can be so present in life, so much so that we feel it real and at our side. Leo makes his life and his days pass as if Art had never been, he is the same before Art again, but, at least by personal vision, I feel more alone. When we have someone and then he leaves, that devastates us, so much so that we feel worse than we once could (good examples are: Kimi no swiss wo tabetai, The fireflies's grave, Clannad or 5 centimeters per second). Leo had gotten someone and came to genuinely appreciate and care for her so much that his voice still throbs in her ears. Ubertino realizes this and offers him a job where he will be less alone, although he does not tell him. Nostalgia.
After having heard those words and thinking of some things regarding the Leo master, Arte decides to work more and although she does not explain herself, it is understood that she does it so that they recognize her as a painter, not as a noble and a woman. Art's over effort ends up exhausting her. The funny thing is that Art is a meticha, but with her life she is usually very reserved, she is the kind of person who cares about another but does not let others worry about her, helps but does not want to be a burden, which is also a problem. Just for being absorbed in this way, she ends up collapsing and makes Katarina cry, inadvertently, for which she will have a rebuke from Yuri, who tells her to work less (I loved this conversation, direct, simple and concise).
Non-acceptance of their condition
After having seen all of the above, something is finally revealed to us: Art was accepted? To this we can add other questions: should we change what we really are and deny our past? Is it okay not to accept ourselves as one is? Art fights two ideas that it cannot win: being a woman and being noble. These are conditions that she can never change, conditions that greatly influence her time. This is what she wants to set aside, to leave those distinctions between male and female and between nobles and commoners. If society does not change no matter how hard you try, what can you do in the end? Is accepting your condition a way of surrendering or accepting all that you imply is a way of winning? Art decides to fight and that's why he loses.
The wisdom of a girl and offer
It is amazing how children can advise adults several times on things that we see as complicated, on things that we believe are not a child's issue. Katarina demonstrates to Arte that the best way to fight society is to accept yourself and that within society you can obtain your freedom. There are things that cannot be changed no matter how much you want, fighting against what you are is just refusing. In the end you cannot change if you do not accept yourself first, acceptance is the first step to change. This opens the eyes of Art, who in the last scene receives an offer from Yuri: to stay in Venice and that he be her patron. Tempting offer that makes her think of her teacher and her words.
An intriguing chapter. The next chapter is the end, but for the title they have spoiled us a lot in my opinion. I don't know what will happen, I just hope it has a good ending and remember this anime with a smile while waiting for the manga to be translated.