Re-thinking support

Frontispiece to 1683 italian book on how to draw the alphabet in a dream-world.

Think about this......In the San culture of Southern Africa the rock on which their images are created is thought of as a threshold to the spirit world. It is more than likely that the Neolithic painters of Europe thought so too, as David Lewis-Williams convincingly argued in his remarkable book, The Mind in the Cave. Is it not possible, then, that poetic painters in the Renaissance and beyond thought of their own support (be it canvas, paper, wood or even a wall) as a threshold to another reality and not, as we tend to think, as mere support?

Posted 23 Jul 2010: BooksTheory

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