Download Vermeer's wager : speculations on art history, theory and by Gaskell, Ivan; Vermeer, Jan PDF

By Gaskell, Ivan; Vermeer, Jan

Vermeer's Wager stands on the intersection of artwork historical past and feedback, philosophy and museology. utilizing a well-known and celebrated portray by means of Johannes Vermeer as a case examine, Ivan Gaskell explores what it could actually suggest to understand and use a piece of paintings. He argues that paintings background as commonly practiced, whereas effectively announcing definite claims to wisdom, fails take into consideration facets of the original personality of artworks. Our courting to paintings is mediated, not just via copy – quite images – but additionally via screens in museums. In an research that levels from seventeenth-century Holland, via mid-nineteenth-century France, to artists' and curators' perform at the present time, Gaskell attracts on his event of Dutch paintings historical past, philosophy and modern paintings feedback. someone with an curiosity in Vermeer and the afterlife of his paintings will price this publication, as will all who imagine heavily in regards to the position of images in conception and the middle reasons of artwork museums.

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Vermeer's wager : speculations on art history, theory and art museums

Vermeer's bet stands on the intersection of paintings heritage and feedback, philosophy and museology. utilizing a well-recognized and celebrated portray by means of Johannes Vermeer as a case learn, Ivan Gaskell explores what it can suggest to understand and use a piece of paintings. He argues that artwork historical past as in general practiced, whereas effectively saying definite claims to wisdom, fails take into consideration features of the original personality of artistic endeavors.

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This is a complex matter concerning the effective boundaries of objects, how we know objects and what viewers bring to objects, to which I shall return. Contrivers of other images can play on memories of works by Vermeer, which in turn enhances mystique. This is nowhere more apparent than in advertising. An example is Mario Sorrenti’s photograph of Kate Moss for an advertisement for the scent ‘Obsession’ (illus. 6). Her pose, meeting the viewer’s gaze over her left shoulder while her hair falls down her back, reminds us of the Girl with a Pearl Earring (illus.

The exchange of gaze between the viewer and the woman, and the exchange of gaze between the viewer and Cupid, are to do with the perception of beauty by the eye, which is as proper to the perception of painting as it is to sexual attraction. The viewer perceives the beauty of art and is smitten by it much as he might perceive the beauty of a woman and be smitten by her. Although, as we have seen, love could be conceived of as mutual between man and woman as their gazes lock, the articulation offered here assumes a male viewer whose gaze meets that of a female figure in the painting.

In doing so van Meegeren himself acquired a lasting mystique that in a sense is the obverse of that of Vermeer. Once Vermeer’s oeuvre had been purged of van Meegeren’s forgeries, it acquired a new purity, for in retrospect the forgeries were obvious, at least to the generation of specialists that succeeded those who had been duped and whose stylistic assumptions and ‘blind spots’ were different. The eventual consequence of the van Meegeren affair was to deflate the reputation of specialist scholars, while enhancing the mystique surrounding Vermeer’s name.

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