The Invisibility of Painting

in Transfigurements

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780226734224
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226734231 | DOI:
The Invisibility of Painting

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Painting has a dual character; two different operations are at work, though they are intimately connected. On the one hand, a painting is a configuration of forms and colors, something visible set before our vision. On the other, through this visible configuration and the depiction it effects, the painting presents something that is not itself visible, for instance, an inner spiritual quality or a quality of communal life. In philosophical terms, a painting is something visible through which something invisible is presented. More generally, an artwork is something sensible which shines forth to the senses in such a way that something beyond the sensible, something purely intelligible, comes to be presented. Hence, the philosophical conception of art has as its basic framework the distinction between the sensible and the intelligible. This framework is presupposed by the understanding of art that has prevailed since antiquity.

Keywords: art; philosophy; sensible; intelligible; visibility

Chapter.  5193 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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