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By Paul Smith, Carolyn Wilde

ISBN-10: 0631207627

ISBN-13: 9780631207627

The spouse presents an available severe survey of Western visible paintings idea from resources in Classical, Medieval and Renaissance notion via to modern writings.

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Extra resources for A Companion to Art Theory

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The artist in his work creates a microcosm of the real, in its continuity between physical, political and spiritual dimensions. Thus although Alberti was establishing general conditions for the construction of pictorial space, his system sets new limits, not only to the sorts of things which can be depicted, and to the manner of their depiction, but also to the meanings which those things have. Perspectival space opens up opportunities for the imaginative visualization of experience in new ways, ways that accord with different material interests and economic orders, or different conceptions of humanity itself.

35), this is not simply the claim that mathematics provides a method for realizing in paint the appearance of things in nature. For it also alludes to Alberti’s wider ambitions for the learned status of painting as that art which displays deeper 11 Tradition and the Academy realities. Such deeper philosophical ambitions for the art of painting have reoccurred in its subsequent developments in different ways. The claim that the intellectual principles of painting give a deeper insight into reality, whether this is metaphysical or socio-political, becomes, after Alberti, an unchallenged shibboleth of the Fine Art of painting.

Most particularly, however, since painting is a sensory medium, it lends itself to the depiction of sensuous and sensual things, things that hold enchanted attention independently of their role in any narrative subject matter. The relation of the viewer to what is depicted in any figurative work is of course crucial. Alberti had recommended positioning figures in such a way that they invite the viewer to see what is shown, even by some explicit gesture of pointing. But by the eighteenth century questions of whether and how the viewer is implicated within the fiction of the work had become a pervasive theme.

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