Posted by Marvin Amstey on February 04, 1999 at 11:03:29:
In Reply to: Re: realism in paintings posted by Yon Bard on February 04, 1999 at 08:34:17:
: : : : : : Earlier in our discussion, Irwin Kirsch mentioned a Caucasian rug owned by the Rudnicks which was published in Through The Collector's Eye. irwin stated that the figures in this rug were less primitive and "3-dimensional". Irwin, I disagree about the quality of the figures, they are very primitive, two-dimensional, and in keeping with the figures we are used to seeing in late 19th and 20th c rugs. If i have gotten things right with Larry, either the image of this rug or a link to the image will appear with this post. Regards, Marvin
: : : : : Dear Marvin:
: : : : : Thou has mistaketh me for the good squire, Yon Bard. But danka shein for posting the picture.
: : : : : Irwin
: : : : Dear Irwin and Yon and Steve,
: : : : Sorry for the confusion. Yon, I still disagree that these are more natural and lifelike figures in spite of Steve's last comment. Steve, a realistic human figure can be seen in early 20th c Persian pieces. Another place are the famous person rugs from Sivas - particularly one of FDR. I've been looking for a picture of the Maggie and Jiggs rug to post. Now that's realistic - exactly like the cartoon! By the way, except for those late Sivas rugs, I don't know of any Turkish rugs with human representation other than the Kurd (?Yuruk)rugs of eastern Turkey. If anybody does, please post the reference and we'll try and get a picture for everyone to see. Regards, Marvin
: : : Marvin, if I understand you correctly, you have rephrased your question to be 'why is there no truly representational depiction of objects in pre-1900 "ethnographic" weavings?' I guess it just wasn't their thing. In a way, their drawing looks like children's. For example, the wedding procession on my tent-band (Sotheby's 4/13/95 lot 17) looks like something that could have been drawn by my 5-year old granddaughter.
: : : Seriously, with the exception of western painting and sculpture during the renaissance and after, there isn't much art that strives to be purely representational. There's always a certain degree of stylization, and the more removed a society is from the "forefront of civilization" the less striving for photographic fidelity there is (cro-magnon cave painting excepted!). In addition, one must consider that radical innovation was not within the paradigm of the tribal weaver, so if there was no tradition of representational art, a wever wouldn't think of doing it. Finally, the medium is not conducive to, say, realistic portraiture unless the image is very large, and including a very large image on a rug would go against the grain of a tribal weaver. In summary, I would have been very much surprised if realistic images did appear on tribal rugs.
: : : Regards, Yon
: : Dear Yon,
: : The size problem seems to be another possible explanation for the less-than-representational drawing of human figures in village or tribal weaving. I hadn't thought of that earlier. Certainly the late 19th early 20th c urban weavings show humans on a much larger scale, and it is only in the urban or court weavings of the past centuries where small scale figures - and not as realistic - appear. As far as non-western art and human representation goes, don't forget Chinese paintings of very real humans - ancestor paintings, etc. Regards, Marvin
: Marvin, I think most oriental paintings of humans are somewhat stylized, certainly nothing like a Titian or a Rembrandt.
: Regards, Yon
Those are hard acts to follow in any culture! Marvin
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