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By Paul Smith, Carolyn Wilde

The significant other offers an obtainable severe survey of Western visible artwork concept from assets in Classical, Medieval and Renaissance concept via to modern writings.

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Christian Iconoclasts had two fundamental beliefs: first, that the widespread practice of venerating religious images was idolatrous (the mental habits of paganism were still prevalent at the time, and the charge of idolatry was sometimes justified); and second, that the very attempt to represent God or any aspect of the divine as a visual image was blasphemous, for it was an insult to God to think that one could represent His nature in material form. Iconoclasm was very powerful both in Constantinople and in the Empire throughout the eighth and ninth centuries, despite the opposition of iconophiles such as John Damascene, and one of its consequences was the almost total destruction of Byzantine religious art up to that time.

And Porphyry (On the Life of Plotinus and the Order of his Books, 1) describes how a portrait was made in secret of the philosopher Plotinus by a painter who went several times to Plotinus’s lectures and used 23 Tradition and the Academy the composite memory image he thereby created as the model for the painting. ’ It is not only individual things and memory images, however, that can serve as models for pictures and mimemata. Imagination (phantasia) can also produce mental images as models for pictures and mimemata.

And, from the other end of the process, in looking at a painting, understanding what is seen also requires its own skills. To see that one figure is smaller than another may be to see that it is at some distance behind the other, not that it is a smaller person or a less important figure. Similarly, to see the visual rhythms between natural and domestic objects and human bodies, and thus the metaphorical relations between them, may need direction. More recently, the traditional conceptual apparatus of Fine Art has been transgressed and displaced – which is one reason for the bafflement of the general public.

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