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PaintingVersusWriting

George Eliot — herself a writer, of course — contrasts two media in Middlemarch, where in Chapter 19 an author and an artist argue:

" ... And what is a portrait of a woman? Your painting and Plastik are poor stuff after all. They perturb and dull conceptions instead of raising them. Language is a finer medium."

"Yes, for those who can't paint," said Naumann. "There you have perfect right. I did not recommend you to paint, my friend."

The amiable artist carried his sting, but Ladislaw did not choose to appear stung. He went on as if he had not heard.

"Language gives a fuller image, which is all the better for being vague. After all, the true seeing is within; and painting stares at you with an insistent imperfection. I feel that especially about representations of women. As if a woman were a mere coloured superficies! You must wait for movement and tone. There is a difference in their very breathing: they change from moment to moment. — This woman whom you have just seen, for example: how would you paint her voice, pray? But her voice is much diviner than anything you have seen of her."

(cf. RememberMe (21 May 1999), ConversationsInPaint (18 Aug 2000), My Religion (6 Nov 2000), TerribleObstacles (17 Nov 2000), DejahThoris (19 Jan 2005), RevolutionsOfAnIrregularSolid (21 Jun 2006), ...)


TopicLiterature - TopicArt - Datetag20060329


(correlates: PsychologicalUndead, ImpedanceMatching, CaissicUncertaintyPrinciple, ...)