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Lecture 42

EURO ST 10 Lecture Notes - Lecture 42: Panoramic Painting

European Studies
Course Code
John Smith

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Professor Smith
Europe Studies 10
Course Code: 24000
4 units
2018 Fall Quarter
Course Notes
Anamorphosis a play with perspective that also highlights its ambivalences
It further distorts reality, gives the viewer new creative power, but also
literally shifts the position of the viewer:
It places into doubt the possibility of art to present the truth” of
We could say that it places the dominance of linear
perspective into perspective, i.e., shows that there are
mysteries beyond what we can grasp from our finite point
of view
From the Greek
Ana = back, again and morphe/morphosis = shape
That’s intense stuff
Let’s build the argument by looking at the readings by Ernest Gilman and
Fred Leeman
Cutting to the chase (From Gilman)
[anamorphic works] are starting...because they use the rules of perspective,
rigorously applied, to parody, almost to subvert, the purposes perspective is
supposed to serve. An anamorphic picture questions the fit between appearance
and reality that is quietly assumed in proper perspective picture. Its appearance is
carefully constructed to deceive, to conceal the optical truth and produce an
experience of doubt and readjustment before it reveals itself”
Anamorphosis - Walking through Gilman
Perspective comes to be seen as a way of expressing a sense of certainty about
man’s place in the world and his ability to understand that world. This indeed, has
been the dominant meaning of the perspective metaphor - so that, in common
usage, to see a thing ‘in perspectiveis to see it from the proper vantage point, at a
sufficient distance to make it fully manifest or properly set it in its context, to see
it clearly, unambiguously, in short, truly”
This is the situation
What is gilman telling us about what perspective claims to do? What are the key
terms in describing the kind of vision perspective seems to afford?
Certainty; man’s place; ability to understand proper vantage point
In fact, this situation is familiar to us since we’ve covered it already
More of the situation - the power of perspective
Gilman, like edgerton, sees the power that linear perspective puts into the hands
of human beings (the artists and the observers): “perspective puts space firmly
into the grasp of the imagination, makes it manipulate to the hand and eye and
therefore more readily available as a category of thought”
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