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In this second programme, also richly and in some cases unexpectedly illustrated, Professor Aaron Scharf considers the role of cloudy, indistinct images in the origin of works of art. Looking at ea...rly cave paintings, he considers the effect of natural rock formations in suggesting the final painted or sculpted forn and examines the theory and practice of Leonardo; of Alexander Cozens and of Victor Hugo in the use of blots, confused sketching and stained walls and stones in the inception of a picture. He examines the work of several other painters including the Japanese Kuniyoshi and Hokusai from the sane point of view, finding a parallel use of suggestive images and of unorthodox materials in the art of ancient and modern painters, in east and west alike.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A100, Humanities: a foundation course
Item code: A100; 12
First transmission date: 31-03-1971
Published: 1971
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Producer: Alasdair Clayre
Contributors: Hagan Beggs; Robert Hill; Patrick Moore; Aaron Scharf; Arthur Shuttlewood
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Cave paintings; Flying saucer.; Gustave Moreau; Hokusai; 'Photographic drop out'; Retina retention; Vesuvius; Victor Hugo
Footage description: Scharf shows illustration of and discusses events in the past to which people have attached special meaning. Giants being seen in the clouds from Vesuvius during the cataclysmic eruption of 79AD. Plague scene and quotation from Defoe. "Journal of the plague year", telling of the images people saw at the time because of their fear. Shot of the Rorschach blot. Shots of palaeolithic cave paintings of deer. Scharf discusses the flying saucer phenomena of the 1960s as an example of peoples imaginations becoming reality to them. Patrick Moore interviews Arthur Shuttlewood who claims to have seen a flying saucer near London. He describes what he saw. Scharf discusses the image of palaeolithic cave paintings. Shot of cave paintings. Shots of various paintings by artists who have included hidden images in them. Hidden profiles of European rulers in a landscape, etc. Scharf examines the belief of retina retention. He goes into the factual basis of this belief. Several cases of images retained on the retina after death are cited particularly victims of crimes. Quotation from Da Vinci read. Shots of Leonardo's 'The Deluge'. Deliberately untidy sketching and confused shapes help to open the imagination. Shots of section of Leonardo's St. Anne. Scharf discusses the ideas of Alexander Cozens a painter of the 18th century. Cozens' A Mew method of assisting the invention in drawing original compositions of landscape is discussed. Shots of Cozens blot A, B, mountain blot, and mountain drawn. Scharf looks at and discusses Dubus' 'The destruction of Sodom', and Gommorah as an example of an early use of the object trouve. Scharf discusses the techniques of Hokusai, 19th century Japanese painter. Several of Hokusai's works are shown and some of his techniques explained. Shots of a painting by the artist Yeiko showing Hokusai at work in the Japanese court. The audiences ability to decipher the controlled accident of Hokusai's paintings gave them their pleasure. Shot of a painting by Kuniyoshi of the poet Narihir at the edge of the Tatsuta River. Scharf shows an example of photographic drop out. A girl's face is reconstructed from only a few lines. Images other than that of a girl's face were suggested and seen in the lines. Scharf shows this to demonstrate the importance of the unintelligible for art. Scharf discusses the technique of Victor Hugo as an artist. Shots of several of Hugo's works. Hugo's Monster, Lace Blot, Octopus, Girl, Butterfly, Clift Face Shot of The Temptation of Saint Anthony by Gustave Moreau as an example of late 19th century French symbolism. Their awareness of the evocative power of hidden things is discussed by Scharf.
Master spool number: 6LT/10064
Production number: 00520_1312
Videofinder number: 2370
Available to public: no