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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Customer Connections, Eclectic Selections: Rembrandt vs Vermeer - insights for CRM and the dy...

I noticed that my 3rd post was a popular read, so am highlighting it now, 6 years later! I hope it merits your consideration for reading. Pin hole perspectives have their use, but they are not the whole picture.

Art history holds some lessons for us: Artist David Hockney in "Secret Knowledge" his 2001 book credibly claims that many of the most acclaimed European artists (Vermeer Caravaggio, van Eyck) used optical projection to increase the precision of their drawing. What it gave them was a way to very accurately draw what they saw from a pinhole (because that's what the optical aids provided). These pictures provided an "optical" look at the world - a very famous Vermeer painting "The Little Street" is an acclaimed example

Here, Hockney describes this painting as a window - we are outside observers with a one point perspective.

Rembrandt shook that world - and some say the difference might be due to the influence of Chinese porcelain painting imports and exports in his hometown. Chinese paintings and scrolls are drawn from a perspective that is dynamic and changing - the world as you would see it, walking along, shifting all the time. The view from the bottom of the hill is different from the view from the top of the hill. Unless you are in a helicopter, you would never see the whole thing from one point - but from the moving series of points.

Rembrandt took the perspective of the individual one further, not just physically dynamic, but emotionally dynamic . Take a look at his sketch: Child being Taught to Walk (c) Trustees of the British Musuem
(See http://people.csail.mit.edu/fredo/PUBLI/WillatsDurandAxiomathes.pdf for a picture of this amazing drawing). You can feel the anxious love of the toddler's sister, and the steady confidence of the mother, the pride and excitement of the father squating down ready to receive the tottering child.

Perspective in art is different in time and culture.

To read the rest of the article, click below.

Customer Connections, Eclectic Selections: Rembrandt vs Vermeer - insights for CRM and the dy...: "This post was inspired by reading Lawrence Weschler's article 'Vanishing Point' in the June 2005 issue of Harper's Magazine. Art history h..."

MIT OpenCourseWare: I'm invested

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