22 March 2002 pictures of our world

17:18: The National Gallery. The uncanny look of all of us as we stand and sit and move, looking at paintings, and the paintings themselves, each a world, and the galleries so picture-like... it's as if we too inhabited a great picture, and of course we do, our self-generated picture of the world, including all this and me writing of it and these words... our collective multiplied picture that has no limits, though in each mind it may seem as if stable and complete as in these painted pictures... But it's we that are the sources of the never-ending fluidity, the instability, of 'the whole' the unspeakable. This is a painting in words but not colours.

Giovanni Bellini The Madonna of the Meadow- this painter is so concerned with each thing portrayed, the bird, the clouds, the distant hills, as well as the madonna and her child, more human than divine, the hill town, the man farming and the cows, - all are equal- all serene - the religious story may even be secondary, or humanised. This is the good side of humanism. I suppose the bad side is self-centredness and human arrogance. But this picture is free of it.

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© 2002 john chris jones

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