◀ Newer    Return    Older ▶

Diagrams showing various functions of the gaze in a mysical fiction.

“So it is no longer enough to say that this paradise is withdrawn, being-there lying behind signs that await a good reader. It does not cease withdrawing, thanks to the secrecy effect it produces, and that active withdrawal is sustained by the decoding activity that the painting entraps by its simulated secrecy. [...] The Garden [of Earthy Delights] leads one to suppose that one is given to understand something different from what one is given to see. Its 'lie,' [...] is precisely its way of positing the otherness of the painting, of outwitting interpretative colonisations, and of keeping, preserved from meaning, the pleasure of seeing.”

- Michel de Certeau, The Mystic Fable, Volume One: The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, translated by Michael B. Smith, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995, pp. 51-52.

“[Giambattista] Tiepolo also wanted the act of looking to be included in painting. And he entrusted this to a class of figures [that] were to have a precise, very lofty function: to be the witnesses, to be the first gaze to fall on the scene that will later be observed by the viewer. It was a way of freeing painting from that pure function of representation of the real to which it was being reduced. [...] if an eye, if various eyes hid inside the picture and looked at it, even before anyone else looked at it, a new level, and invisible step, was added to every image.”

- Roberto Calasso, Tiepolo Pink, translated by Alastair McEwen, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, pp. 175-176.