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UAL Research Online

Vermeer: Interruptions, Exclusions, and ‘Imagining Seeing'

Wilder, Ken (2015) Vermeer: Interruptions, Exclusions, and ‘Imagining Seeing'. Estetika: Central European Journal of aesthetics, 52 (1). pp. 38-59. ISSN 00141291

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Wilder, Ken

This article proposes an essential interrelatedness of Vermeer’s strategies of inclusion and exclusion of an implied beholder. I will argue that such strategies mutually reinforce each other, to the extent that the plausibility of one is arguably dependent upon the possibility of the other. This is evidenced by Vermeer’s subtle manipulations of pictorial space, and the article traces a decisive shift in his familiar use of barriers (repoussoir) from those aimed at an external presence to those oriented towards an internal beholder. The feasibility of this interdependence rests upon a theory of imaginative engagement with paintings that can accommodate both an internal beholder and the felt lack of occupancy of the imagined situation’s point of view. I argue that the Dependency Thesis, as set out by M. G. F. Martin, can provide plausibility for both kinds of imaginative engagement with paintings, when sensory imagination is conceived as an instance of imagining seeing. These engagements exploit the notorious emptiness of imagination’s necessarily perspectival point of view.

Official Website: http://aesthetics.ff.cuni.cz/archive/408/vermeer-interruptions-exclusions-and-imagining-seeing
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: Vermeer, image, implied beholder, pictorial space, imagining seeing, imagination
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: 15 May 2015
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 15:59
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2015 15:59
Item ID: 8682
URI: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/8682

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