Don’t you find it odd that….?

Don’t you find it odd that, according to the conventional paradigm, a visual artist active between the Renaissance and 1900 had only two choices? He or she could either illustrate a story (biblical, historical, literary etc.) or copy nature (portraits, landscapes, still-lifes).

We are often told that the development of photography as a competitive medium in the nineteenth century, and of abstraction as an art form in the twentieth, encouraged artists to look inwards, an option that was not apparently available to them while illusion ruled.

If so, what is the difference between a Renaissance artist and a Renaissance illustrator?

Posted 22 Jul 2010: TheoryVisual Perception

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