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February 17, 2013

BBC - David Hockney's Secret Knowledge (2003)

"David Hockney demonstrates how, four hundred years before the invention of the photograph, artists were using simple cameras to capture realistic images. Hockney takes us to Florence, Bruges, Ghent, and a specially designed set in Hollywood, to demonstrates his findings.

"He compares van Eyck's 'Ghent Altarpiece' (1432) to his own 'Pearblossom Highway (1986) concluding that multiple viewpoints (many, many windows) have a similar distancing effect on a two-dimentional surface as a bird's-eye view, but that it is contradicted in details. Hockney's 'Pearblossom Highway' photographic collage consists of approximately 750 individual chromogenic print and, it is historically known, that van Eyck made lots of drawings of various elements and then 'drew' the whole painting out of details from them. Hockney also, convincingly, demonstrates how Brunelleschi, the first architect to employ mathematical perspective to redefine Gothic and Romanesque space, used a mirror for the perspective picture of the Baptistry of San Giovanni; a painting that, around 1412, astounded Florence."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at February 17, 2013 08:48 AM