350 year old "photographs" by Vermeer?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by NedL, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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  2. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    That is cool!

    Jeff
     
  3. yurisrey

    yurisrey Member

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    This follows the theory that greater realism may have been achieved in the past with the aid of optical devices such as the camera obscura. While I don't doubt the possibility of Renaissance and post-Renaissance artists using drawing aids for initial sketching, I think the author is going to great pains to prove just a minor detail, for if any optical devices were used, it surely was just one of the many techniques painters relied on. For example, I find it interesting that the author doesn't mention: the classic education that was prevalent then that had a great focus in geometry and Greco-Roman art/history, nor, something as "of the period" as grisaille technique which allowed the painter to achieve greater realism, or 'photorealism' as the author puts it.
     
  4. AgX

    AgX Member

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    He starts by stating that the human eye won't be able to reproduce shade of the wall paint as a photograph would do it due, due to a compensating effect of human Vision.

    He further states that projecting an image of the real scene onto canvas would mix-up the luminances of the reflected projection image and the reflection of the fresh painting. As the former is the lighting of the latter.
    Using superimposed images as by means of a mirror however would add-up luminances.
    Seeing the real Scene with one eye and the fresh painting with other might be an outcome.

    But then that compensating effect of human vision would still exist in his design.
     
  5. albertphot

    albertphot Member

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  6. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I recently was watching similar documentary (can't find the link) where proof for using lenses by old masters was shallow DOF in some parts of the paintings and optical distortion - that you would not normally have in paintings.
     
  7. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Are people surprised at this at all? People knew how to project images for a LONG time before they figured out chemical procesess to fix the image. The use of any and all optical aids to painting should be assumed.
     
  8. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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  9. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    can you imagine just how great vermeer would be, if only he could stick a leica lens on his contraption! :laugh:

    of course, he might have been a good painter, too...
     
  10. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    well that was really boring

    Prisoners of war in German camps duplicated very complicated forged documents including "typewritten" texts and "official seals" and "photographs," all from pen and ink. In an atmosphere of great deprivation where everything they needed had to be scrounged, bribed for or stolen.The main thrust of the thread seems to be that if the writer can't do it, Vermeer could not do it. Did he ever think Vermeer was more talented than himself? Good ole boy Saddam Hussein told his pals that he had the atomic bomb, too. He claimed that a blacksmith in Damascus had whipped one up for him. I'll believe Sad old Saddam before I believe this stuff. Well, I needed to waste my time while finishing my coffee before venturing out into the 110 degreer heat. Mad Dogs and Englishmen....
     
  11. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Interesting article, but I'm not sure it says much, once you read past the surface-layer rantiness. It's obviously written in an intentionally polemical way, but the actual content I got from it boiled down to "he may be right, but his copy is Bad Art, and anyway focusing on mechanics over artistic talent misses the point".

    Which might all be true---I don't know about the Bad Art bit, but the other two theses seem reasonable---but seems itself to miss the point of the original experiment. Probably nobody disputes that Vermeer was talented as all hell, but I don't know: did anyone, other than the author of the _Grauniad_ column, read the original article as carrying the message "Vermeer was nothing special, he just had a magic tool"?

    It reminds me a little bit of the "photography isn't art" / "yes it is" / "no it isn't" Argument Clinic of the early 20th century. If an artist used a sophisticated tool, something that could allow a complete tyro to duplicate some of the challenging mechanics of their work, would that devalue the work as capital-A-Art? I thought we'd gotten past that question long since, but maybe the tree of controversy needs to be watered from time to time with the blood of repetition, or something like that.

    -NT
     
  12. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    They lost me at this point: "Click images to embiggen.".
     
  13. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Well, yes, I did. I could be wrong. YMMV.
     
  14. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Fair enough. I thought it was more of a proof-of-concept intended to show that something may have been in Vermeer's toolbox, but I could be wrong too. Actually, we're probably both wrong and it was primarily a way of selling DVDs.

    -NT
     
  15. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    :smile:
     
  16. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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  17. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    It's a fun exercise based on the slimmest of premises and not a shred of proof. The claim that you can't see variances in shading on a wall is completely ridiculous. Artists have been accurately reproducing and creating subtle shading for centuries.