PAINTING WHAT YOU SEE WITH DAMAGED EYES. I posted here about Professor Margaret Livingston’s theory that it is an advantage for an artist to have poor depth perception because it is easier to paint the world if you see it as flatter than other people see it. Her theory arose from noticing that Rembrandt’s eyes were badly aligned. This essay about the Munch exhibit by the novelist A.S.Byatt in the Guardian (June 22) points out that when Munch was in his 60’s the retina in his “good eye” ruptured (the other had been injured in a fight). Munch continued to paint “what his eye recorded – the ‘inside of sight’ as Max Ernst put it. He painted the ‘spots in his vision’, circular, concentrically coloured optical illusions…. And as this wikipedia article records, Monet painted for a period with cataracts, and “the paintings done while the cataracts affected his vision have a general reddish tone, which is characteristic of the vision of cataract victims….”

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