Leonard Shlain, in his book Art and Physics, talks about Manet's choice to muck around with perspective, obscuring the vanishing point, curving the horizon line, eliminating the middle ground, and flattening the picture plane. According to Shlain, these innovations contributed to a message from the artworld, "warnings to the public that the Western paradigms [ie: Euclid] about space, time and light were about to change." Shlain's connections between art and science are a bit thin, based pretty much solely on chronology. But it is interesting to see these parallel histories on the same page. Besides, this chapter was an excuse to indulge in the somewhat guilty pleasure of looking/thinking again at paintings by Manet.
Édourard Manet, "Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, " (1863)
(NB: bigger version moved to comments - scroll down)
an excuse to indulge in the somewhat guilty pleasure of looking/thinking again at paintings by Manet.
Yeah, I mean look at that dude with the ascot. He doesn't have any sort of problem looking and/or thinking. He seems to even be trying to convince his friend to look. "Dude, next to you! Right next to you! What, are you blind? Look!!!"
In my day Manet was considered the wellspring of Modernism, and a de rigueur subject of attention. Is he now irrelevant?
I feel guilty if I watch too much Miami CSI
I never feel guilty over anything I look at, or read, or watch. Either I have a brain like a vacuum cleaner or I am a total sociopath. Pick one. (and I don't even care which one you choose!)
I feel guilty for not spending enough time with my PS2. I'm not kidding.
I certainly don't think Manet is considered irrelevant! For me the pleasure is guilty because its seeded with nostalgia for a long-gone time when I used to get very excited about paint. Shlain's text, while a bit clunky, did remind me of this crazy turn of the last century, when painting (specificallyt Manet & Cezanne) kicked people in the head with concepts of representation. It must have been so trippy to look at this stuff back in the day! Manet's lack of 'finish' and choices about picture plane still reveal an underlying structure to the existense of pictures, all pictures, that is the process inside our own head as we take visual information. This is all more related to philosophy than science (location of consciousness and all that) but there are lotsa inter-connections there too.
Orbis Sensua Lium Pictus is an incredible book. Love those funky prints, which oddly are reversed in the Latin/German/Maygar/Czech version from 1685, which I have.
Glen Campbell picketh; Bow Wow Wow punketh.
I have a file folder full of Orbis Pictus photocopies, cherished since the day I discovered the book at the University of New Brunswick library in Fredericton. Good town for a mind f**k, and OB provided. Love this one of the flying vermin. I started a project once where I tried to make a drawing of every single noun in the Webster's dictionary. As a result I have tons and tons and tons of tiny notebooks full of awful art stored away in a box . And I only got as far as partway through the B's.
Favourite Glen 'Wichita Lineman' comment: "Tremelo guitar soaked in liquid valium.." - Professor Banks..
BTW, prints get reversed when the copyist doesn't reverse them.