A lot of great points, but I still hold to my opinion that we don't view nature objectively. You wrote that
One reason why representational painting is so powerful is that for the most part most people see the same
If that's the case, how do you explain all of the stylistic differences in contemporary realist circles?
On a good day, I'm able to discern whether a particular artist came from the Water Street Atelier, Florence Academy, Angel, etc. Do you think they are the result of people using the same materials or methodologies? If that's the case would you argue that one is a closer approximation to what's out there than another? And is this the goal in painting?