Hockney the Hackneyed

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Hockney the Hackneyed

From Malkhos

Published before 2005


I just read this e-mail as it was posted at ARC and sent the following message into CBS:

I recently read the transcript of your interview with David Hockney about the camera obscura. One wonders why people who claim to be reporters were taken in by such nonsense. In the first place, Hockney never learned to draw (this is obvious from his paintings), so one wonders how he could be quoted as an expert in such matters. Secondly, the man reveals himself in this very interview as an ignoramus. He talks about 'Claudio Bruni' being burned in Caravaggio's Rome for his experiments in optics. The man he means is Giordano Bruno who was burned by the Neopolitan Inquisition (a far more conservative body than the Papal Inquisition in Rome) for irregularities in his trinitarian doctrine. In this instance, Hockney filled in his vague knoweldge with a line of nonsensical doubletalk that means exactly nothing. If the man does that, why should he be trusted in any matter of learning? You should be ashamed of yourselves.

I see that the subject has been discussed here at length and I will look over the posts on Hockney as time permits, could could someone knowledgable on the subject please say briefly what role devices such as the camera obscura and wire grids to regulate perspective actually played in the developement of Renaissance art, and where and how far Hockney veers from the truth? I will add that I saw that CBS got Hockney's views endorsed by a physicist -- as a classicist I know how misleading that is. Physical scientists are always misinterpreting ancient evidence becuase they don't know its context and supply a new new context from some tiny fragment of evidence out of their own knowledge and thereby coming up with bizarre theories about the Delphic Oracle, the Mysteries of Mithras, etc.

Felicter,

Malkhos