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Author Topic: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?  (Read 647 times)

Offline A51Watcher

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Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« on: September 03, 2017, 11:04:52 AM »
While experimenting with a magnifying glass as a youngster, I noticed the following odd effect -



where it would project an upside down image of the window behind me onto the wall.

I had some photo sensitive paper at the time and taped some to the wall and got some decent B&W photos.

But I also realized that if I taped plain paper on the wall and traced the images I would have a decent 'paint by the numbers' drawing.

I also thought that if I were a professional painter, I could use this to create very realistic paintings.


So in the last few decades evidence and counter arguments have grown regarding Renaissance era 'realist' painters using optics (lenses and mirrors) to create paintings that appear so real they appear to be taken by a camera -










The following is the best evidence to have emerged so far -




Reverse-Engineering a Genius (Has a Vermeer Mystery Been Solved?)

https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2013/11/vermeer-secret-tool-mirrors-lenses













I say hats off to these early pioneers who used the latest technology of the day to create such impressive works!

 8)
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 11:23:21 AM by A51Watcher »

Offline ArMaP

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 11:17:54 AM »
My elder sister is a painter, and she doesn't need any special apparatus, she only uses her hands. :)

This looks like people with no talent trying to explain talent in this specific area, while should just accept it: some people have talent, some people don't. :)

PS: the camera obscura was known and used for many centuries.

Offline A51Watcher

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2017, 11:21:55 AM »
My elder sister is a painter, and she doesn't need any special apparatus, she only uses her hands. :)

This looks like people with no talent trying to explain talent in this specific area, while should just accept it: some people have talent, some people don't. :)

PS: the camera obscura was known and used for many centuries.

That seems to be the usual line from naysayer side of the argument.

Did you watch the videos on the pro side?


 

Offline A51Watcher

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2017, 11:52:04 AM »


since the short time between my post and your reply it is obvious you make your proclamation without viewing the latest information on the subject and are content to parrot the camera obscura line of defense.

Quote
This looks like people with...

Actually this looks more like -




 

Offline ArMaP

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2017, 11:57:58 AM »
since the short time between my post and your reply it is obvious you make your proclamation without viewing the latest information on the subject and are content to parrot the camera obscura line of defense.
First, it's obvious I didn't waste time with 5 videos of 10 minutes each, I have more important things to do.

Second, I'm not a parrot, the things I say I say them because that's what I think.

Third, if you read what I wrote and not what you think I wrote, you can see that I didn't say that they used the camera obscura, I only said it was known and used for centuries.

Now, a personal question, if you don't mind: how many painters do you know?

Offline A51Watcher

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2017, 12:28:37 PM »
First, it's obvious I didn't waste time with 5 videos of 10 minutes each, I have more important things to do.

Second, I'm not a parrot, the things I say I say them because that's what I think.

Third, if you read what I wrote and not what you think I wrote, you can see that I didn't say that they used the camera obscura, I only said it was known and used for centuries.

Now, a personal question, if you don't mind: how many painters do you know?

I know a few painters.

I also noted in the text url I provided that Penn & Teller did a documentary on this subject and  Penn Jillett's mother was a painter.

Does someone's opinion whose mother was a painter outweigh someone whose elder sister was a painter?

Opinion poker based on familial relationships with painters is obviously a fool's errand.

A decision and opinion should instead be based on the the latest evidence presented (and evaluated).

You DID notice I prefaced the url and videos as being the latest evidence on this matter, yes?


 


   
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 12:33:02 PM by A51Watcher »

Offline ArMaP

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2017, 04:20:10 PM »
I know a few painters.
Then you should know that some are better at some types of painting than others, so while some are good at portraits others are better at landscapes, some are better at colours, some at perspective, that's why I think this comes from someone that was not that good at perspective (for example, as that's the most common problem) or detail and started this idea that Vermeer needed some kind of artificial help to be able to make those paintings.

Quote
Does someone's opinion whose mother was a painter outweigh someone whose elder sister was a painter?
No, the relationship with a painter is only relevant to understand the artists' mentality and how different artists are good at different things. Also, that some artists have great envy of other artists and have no problems in trying to destroy the other artist's reputation.

And my elder sister is a painter, not was.

Quote
A decision and opinion should instead be based on the the latest evidence presented (and evaluated).
I think that first we should think if there is any merit in the theory presented, and in this case I don't think there is, so, unless I see any evidence that it was impossible for him to make those paintings without help I don't see any reason to create theories to explain things that are already explained.

Also, the fact that it's possible for someone using a helping device can make a painting similar to a Vermeer doesn't prove that Vermeer used one.

Quote
You DID notice I prefaced the url and videos as being the latest evidence on this matter, yes?
Not really, as you wrote "the best evidence to have emerged so far".

Offline A51Watcher

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2017, 07:34:46 PM »


Your lack of interest in the latest evidence is duly noted.



Offline Shasta56

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2017, 07:49:10 PM »
I haven't watched the videos, but I think it's an interesting idea.  I think it's possible that some paintings were created that way.  I'm not a painter, and I don't recall being alive during that time, so I clearly have no expertise in the matter.

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Offline Irene

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2017, 08:07:04 PM »
I think people now are jealous they haven't got one-tenth the talent of men like Vermeer and Rembrandt.

You can't teach it. It's on board when you're born.
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Offline ArMaP

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2017, 12:55:33 PM »
Your lack of interest in the latest evidence is duly noted.
As I said before, my lack of interest is not in the evidence, it's in the idea that an artist could not do that without artificial aid, just that.

Offline A51Watcher

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2017, 01:14:38 PM »


I think the idea of an artist doing it without those aids is marvelous.

And Irene's point is well taken also.

What's interesting is the fierce pushback to the idea that they might have, this occurs in all the debates about it.

It reminds me of when Bob Dylan got booed off the stage for going electric.

Some people seem to regard it as some kind of cheating, which I do not. The painter with Penn & Teller who had to learn as he went certainly benefited from these aids. Is the deblurring technology for photos cheating? If an artist could use this tech to sharpen their project then why not?

Testing and debates will never prove whether someone DID use these devices, only whether or not someone COULD have used these devices.

Are there any examples of realism paintings of this quality BEFORE these optics were available?


     

Offline A51Watcher

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2017, 01:41:45 PM »


Here is one that has been suspected of using optics from 1434 -




But in the following article from Scientific American, that theory seems to have been put to rest, by new testing -

http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~dyer/ah336/papers/stork-sciam04.pdf



Offline space otter

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2017, 01:44:59 PM »


51
a lot of folks seem to think that we are so much smarter than we used to be and that's why this can't be right

personally i think we've been massively dumbed down thru the stay here

Offline A51Watcher

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Re: Optics Used by Renaissance Painters?
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2017, 01:46:19 PM »
I haven't watched the videos, but I think it's an interesting idea.  I think it's possible that some paintings were created that way.

I'm not a painter, and I don't recall being alive during that time, so I clearly have no expertise in the matter.

Shasta

Very reasonable comment Shasta, I agree completely.


« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 01:50:39 PM by A51Watcher »

 


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