Saturday, September 13, 2008

David Hockney's Theories

After watching the film on David Hockeny’s theories on artists from the Renaissance period, I was shocked and disappointed. To think that these great masters of art were simply tracing the paintings with the help of camera obscura, camera lucida, and curved mirrors. It is amazing that they were able to calculate the alterations in the images from the paintings that would have resulted from the use of these optical instruments. The implications for artists and art historians would be one of disappointment. I believe there will be an increase of investigating these particular methods possibly used during the 1420 time period. I feel like the artists cheated; however, the paintings are still beautiful. These methods did create realism in the paintings. There even seems to be evidence of the use of mirrors in Jan Van Eyck’s, The Arnolfini Wedding because there is a curved mirror in the painting. Also, when Hockeny put the chandelier in the computer, it was perfectly 3-D which further suggest that his theory is accurate. I remember seeing convex mirrors, mirrors that bulge outward, in other paintings, and as I looked in my Renaissance Art book I found Quentin Metsys, Banker and his wife, had a mirror in its painting. The Renaissance is another book I found a clue in Petus Christus, St. Eligius painting has a convex mirror on the desk. Interesting to me as well was the reenactment of Caravaggio, The Cardsharps, showing possibly why the eye line was wrong. Now when I look at a paintings I will be wondering “Was this a great artist or a cheat?”

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