n°23/ Emotional Details

June 2012

by Nathalie Azoulai

Painting details are of two sorts. One regards the object that cannot be seen from far, the unoticeable, the unseen, like some forgotten tennis racket in a Tiepolo or some kitchen basket in a Vermeer. Unexpected discoveries, pretty modest little things.
The other sort deals with painting materials. Look at this white collar in a Rembrandt's portrait. Or at this black man in Gericault's Raft of The Medusa.  So likely, so realistic, so  still. Make one step forward:  once you stick your nose to the painting, you may see the brush, the spots, the stains, the amount of colours and shades, and point out that painting has nothing to do with shooting.
No need to go to museums where guards will shout if you get too close to paintings.  But The Red List can get you there with its new Topics section untitled Details.