Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Memory plays a different part

Nicole Page-Smith

Memory plays a different part

Focusing on the Leonardo painting "The Virgin of the Rocks" (1483-1486), you notice the difference between the London, National Gallery, painting and there is really only limited similarity. The London Leonardo looks badly restored and overly cleaned whereas the Louvre painting looks like another group of assistants finished the Christ Child and St. John or completed the rest of the painting. The Louvre is a nicer gallery to view art and more of a place for quieter contemplation but on a par with the quality of art on display in the National Gallery. Perhaps with the Leonardo and only the beginning of an understanding of perspective most of the painting appears too frontal and almost in reverse. You notice with taking a photograph the same quality occurs so, perhaps the amount of graphic work Leonardo completed contributed. The impression of Leonardo painting is almost like a page of writing. The visual information speaks to you and provides pointers for the imagination to wander. Italians are very vocal to the point of a dialogue being understood and the paintings appear to talk themselves although not a spoken language. Modern interpretations of art may overlook the time of the Renaissance painting or when the painting was painted but with this consideration you are left with an image. Memory plays a different part.