By Michael Fried
With this extensively acclaimed paintings, Fried revised the way eighteenth-century French portray and feedback have been seen and understood."A reinterpretation supported via enormous studying and through a chain of brilliantly perceptive readings of work and feedback alike. . . . an exciting book."—John Barrell, London evaluation of Books
Read Online or Download Absorption and theatricality: painting and beholder in the age of Diderot PDF
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Extra info for Absorption and theatricality: painting and beholder in the age of Diderot
This is spelled out by Diderot in his defense of Greuze's composition against certain criticisms: On dit encore que cette attention de to us les personnages n'est pas naturelle; qu'il fallait en occuper quelques-uns du bonhomme et laisser les autres a leurs fonctions particulii~res; que la scene en eut ete plus simple et plus vraie, et que c'est ainsi que la chose s'est passee, qu'ils en sont surs . . [But in fact:] Le moment qu'ils demandent est un moment commun, sans interet; celui que Ie peintre a choisi est particulier; par hasard il arriva ce jour-la que ce fut son gendre qui lui apporta des aliments, et Ie bonhomme, touche, lui en temoigna sa gratitude d'une maniere si vive, si penetree, qu'elle suspend it les occupations et fixa l'attention de toute la famille.
95 Other scholars have resisted the suggestion, seeing in Chardin's art the liquidation rather than the continuation of a moralizing tradition and insisting that the cast of mind at work in the verses is alien to the paintings themselves. 96 However one resolves this question in one's own mind, and there is much to be said for both positions, twO observations seem to me of crucial importance. First, it is impossible to discern the least difference in Chardin's attitude toward his subject matter between the pictures of games and amusements on the one hand and ostensibly more serious or morally exemplary scenes on the other.
21 Aristotle says that tragedy is an imitation of an action, and consequently it is first and foremost an imitation of people in action. What the philosopher says of tragedy applies equally well to painting, which must express by means of action and gestures all that pertains to the subject that it represents . . Or, to take another example, here is Du Bos's explanation of why, despite what he believed to be painting's greater power over the soul, tragedies in the theater often made one weep whereas paintings with very rare exceptions did not: [U]ne Tragedie renferme une infinite de tableaux.
Absorption and theatricality: painting and beholder in the age of Diderot by Michael Fried