The 20th of January of 1817 Henri-Marie Beyle "Stendhal" entered the city of Florence and suddenly he felt himself "grown incapable of rational thought, but rather surrendered to the sweet turbulence of fancy, as in the presence of some beloved object". He wrote that "the tide of emotion which overwhelmed me flowed so deep that it scarce was to be distinguished from religious awe". This incident has been used as a symptomatic paradigm of a psychological condition described as "a collection of emotional dysfunctions aroused by the contemplation of beauty". This condition has been named "Stendhal Syndrome".
The 20th of January of 1900 art critic and political activist John Ruskin died. His ideas and concerns are widely recognised as having anticipated interest in environmentalism and sustainability.
The 20th of January of 1942 took place the conference of Wannsee, in the suburbs of Berlin. Several senior officers of the Nazi regime decided the bases for the Final Solution, the plan of extermination of European Jews which lead to Auschwitz and Holocaust. Few years later Theodor W. Adorno said that "to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric".
The 20th of January of 1944 the British Air Force dropped more than 2,000 tons of bombs over Berlin.
The fact that this date has been chosen as the ideal IDwA contains contradictory elements of homage and denunciation. However, overall considerations are pointing the capacity of this date to provoking reflection about sinister characteristics of art and human being.