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Haptik und Optik Jean-Siméon Chardins Malerei als ›Schule des Sehens‹

Anita Hosseini

Published online:

30 Dec 2016



In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, philosophers explored the idea of sight through mind games and practical experiments. Investigating initial vision and tackling the problem of (actual and hypothetical) blindness, they eventually realized that sight itself only transmits the idea of forms and colors. In conclusion, the visual understanding of plasticity and distance postulates an exchange between optical and tactile experiences. Beholding paintings requires the same correlation, as the painted canvas also evokes the illusion of space and body. In his still lifes, Jean-Siméon Chardin uses colors in an activating manner and creates paintings that oscillate between real and represented matter. But they also show the presence of light and air and visually dematerialize the painted objects. Hence, these seem to disperse in light and color and to float in a sphere between painting and beholder. The outcome of this is an experience of a mere vision.

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Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte Issues

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