Perception of a painting affected by factors

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Perception of a painting affected by factors

From Richard

Published before 2005


Hello all,

These debates are instructive. I read all of them and try to understand and I am still coming up with answers for myself from some Goodart conversations of a week ago.

It dawned on me this morning that despite being a "logical" person, my enjoyment of a painting must be dependent on more than the appearance of the painting. Other associations with the work come into play that color my view of the painting and painter, including the aids, if any, that the artist used.

I can think of no other explanation for some of my favorite painters being rated higher than others in my "great hierarchy of painters". For example, I really admire the gorgeous compositions of Maxfield Parrish but, if he had not used the photos and created hyper detail in his backgrounds, (lack of selective focus?) I would probably like his work even better and cannot seem to think of him as a great painter as much as a great designer. I truly admire the artist who can do these things with hand-eye skills and the imagination and not from mechanical aids, recognizing that sometimes the photo may be necessary for some action poses or other fleeting effects. I guess this is why I am a painter and not a photographer. I want as little intervention on the part of the machine as possible.

Seeing the exact same painting and learning that it was painted by a blind artist would raise the painter and painting even higher in my estimation. This makes no logical sense to me as it is the same painting either way, but I can come to no other conclusion than that there are multiple factors or associations at play when I assess a painting other than appearance.

It seems that the final product is not the only consideration in my estimation of a painting and I am surprised at that.