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Year One - Art History

Representation and Modern Art (1999)

representation(noun):

a creation that is a visual or tangible rendering of someone or something

Representation Lecture – Powerpoint

Painting was about representation in, ’18th century in the West, painting was marking surfaces to represent visible things, the imitation of nature.’

J.Bell, What is Painting? Representation and Modern Art (1999) Chapter 1.

Graven Images

Bell references images being forbidden ‘Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water notions of ‘art itself, and the relation of these notions to the rise and fall under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. of ‘abstraction’. Subsequently meaning, ‘They have the power to imitate nature and trick and manipulate the audience, or that it was not good enough to imitate it.’

Ten Commandments

Icons

‘Aaron, Moses’ brother made a Canaanite idol when Moses went to climb Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments.’ meaning he made false idols.

Icons were said to be made without hands due to, ‘Acheiropoieta. They have come into existence miraculously, not created by humans, would be receptacles for divine content.’

Acheiropoieta Icons

‘Images can consist of one imitation of visible nature stitched with another imitation of a different visible nature.’ Hence why we should be sceptical when trusting the reliability of these images.

Plato vs Aristotle

Plato

Plato stated in regards to art and pictures; ‘Painters distract our attention with the likeness of way that things look, the way that things look are a poor likeness of its true nature, truth is in the idea. By copying appearances, the painter knows nothing worth mentioning about the subject. Art is a form of play and should not be taken seriously. Images are created because people want to indulge in their vain desires.’

Aristotle

Aristotle’s ideology in contrast to Plato, ‘Valued mimeses, believed it was a natural human activity, children must learn through imitation. Bad examples would teach people how not to behave. Images can consist of one imitation of visible nature stitched with another imitation of a different visible nature.’

Copying Art

Mimetic – Mona Lisa

What is mimeses? ‘Poetic mimeses (eg. Painting) is an imitation of appearance alone, is not truthful, believed to corrupt the soul by Plato. A noun formation from the verb mimeisthai, ‘To Mime’, a bodily performance in which you tell a story, or bring someone’s presence to mind without speaking.’

References:

https://images.google.com

https://mimetictheory.com/articles/islesworth-mona-lisa/

J.Bell, What is Painting? Representation and Modern Art (1999) Chapter 1.

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