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.
Abbildungsnachweis: 1 Lawrence Gowing, Die Gemäldesammlung des Louvre, Köln 1988, 515. – 2 Chardin (Ausst.-Kat. Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle und Kunstmuseum im Ehrenhof, London, Royal Academy of Arts, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Arts), hg. von der Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf 2000, 289.
© 2016 Anita Hosseini, published by De Gruyter