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Did Van Gogh have a color vision deficiency?
December 12, 2011 8:47 AM   Subscribe

The Day I Saw Van Gogh's Genius in a New Light - Kazunori Asada explores a hypothesis: Did Van Gogh perhaps have a color vision deficiency?
posted by flex (59 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
See also: Monet's visual disorder: Cataracts
posted by Omon Ra at 8:51 AM on December 12, 2011


Also: Cassatt (Cataracts Diabetic Retinopathy), Cezanne (Myopia), Degas (Retinopathy), El Greco (Astigmatism), Rembrandt (Visual Aging), Renoir (Myopia), also Van Gogh
(Xanthopsia).

posted by Omon Ra at 8:54 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like the theory he had vertigo, explains the twirly images.
posted by stbalbach at 8:55 AM on December 12, 2011


that's interesting. for the most part, i like better the Van Gogh i'm familiar with but it's neat to see how other people might see it. i imagine seeing it in person with the optical filters would be different,

also interesting - i have a cheap print of the Cafe Terrace painting and it is much closer in color to the color deficiency version.
posted by sio42 at 8:58 AM on December 12, 2011


But how do you square this theory with his early, more naturalistic palettes?
posted by Iridic at 8:59 AM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm going to go with "no." He used the colors he did because he liked how it looks, simple as that. He clearly wasn't going for photographic reproduction with these paintings.
posted by Hoopo at 9:07 AM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah this strikes me as being along the same lines as 'Lewis Carroll was on mushrooms when he wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland!' No, Patricia, sometimes people are just creative.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:08 AM on December 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


Someone on Hacker News pointed out the possibility of this being a side effect of Digoxin. He's even mentioned in the article.
posted by azarbayejani at 9:08 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


He saw things we couldn't and showed them to us. We're the ones who need the bright colors.
posted by michaelh at 9:09 AM on December 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


The pigments used in a Van Gogh print are not the pigments used in a Van Gogh painting. Same thing goes for RGB scans.

Maybe the author is right, but there is no evidence here. You would need to go back to the original painting or use a scan with more than three primaries. This is like judging a musician's hearing based on a recording made over a cell phone.
posted by nixt at 9:11 AM on December 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


“Isn’t it wonderful? We color deficient people have understood Gogh’s true wonderfulness and we have said that he is the genius of geniuses. But color normal people do not understand it well, seemingly. Gogh was surely color vision deficiency. Therefore, color deficient people can better understand his pictures. ”

I'm not sure why people feel the need to posit these silly hypotheses. Don't his painting speak for themselves without the need for added interpretation? It's completely ridiculous to say that only color deficient people have understood Van Gogh's "true genius."
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 9:17 AM on December 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


To me the most interesting part is not the pictures Asada posted but the testimony of the color-deficient person that he sees something in Van Gogh that is particularly satisfying to his eyes.
posted by straight at 9:17 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


So I guess my previous enjoyment and admiration of van Gogh was all mistaken and I now have to re-enjoy and re-admire them all. How silly of me, enjoying the wrong colours.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 9:23 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anyone with doubts about the intentional nature of his choice of colors should have a look at what he has to say in his letters:

“In all this batch I think nothing at all good save the field of wheat, the mountain, the orchard, the olives with the blue hills and the portrait and the entrance to the Quarry, and the rest says nothing to me, because it lacks individual intention and feeling in the lines. Where these lines are close and deliberate it begins to be a picture, even if it is exaggerated. That is a little what Bernard and Gauguin feel, they do not ask the correct shape of a tree at all, but they insist absolutely that one can say if the shape is round or square - and my word, they are right, exasperated as they are by certain people's photographic and empty perfection. Certainly they will not ask the correct tone of the mountains, but they will say: In the Name of God, the mountains were blue, were they? Then chuck on some blue and don't go telling me that it was a blue rather like this or that, it was blue, wasn't it? Good - make them blue and it's enough! Gauguin is sometimes like a genius when he explains this, but as for the genius Gauguin has, he is very timid about showing it, and it is touching the way he likes to say something really useful to the young. How strange he is all the same."

posted by Hoopo at 9:24 AM on December 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Isn't this just an update of the unproven "he was drinking methyl spirits, which blinds you slowly" story?

It reads a bit like a just-so story. Who knows?
posted by clvrmnky at 9:35 AM on December 12, 2011


Who knows?

Yes, the Doctor knows.
posted by zomg at 9:41 AM on December 12, 2011


the wrong doctor knows >:(
posted by rebent at 9:47 AM on December 12, 2011


No.

First, you can't really accidentally use a color in a painting. You've got to mix it. He didn't have this tube of green that looked the same as some other color so he thought, What the fuck, I'll throw some of this in there."

Second, the filtered paintings are technically worse. The colors are way more immature. The portrait is the best example. Filtered, it's like the "skin color" crayon. That's not what skin looks like.

Mathematicians are not art historians.
posted by cmoj at 9:47 AM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wouldn't any color deficiency also be associated with the pigments being used, thereby driving the artist to use the color that looked most like what they were trying to recreate?
posted by blurker at 9:47 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The after paintings seem dumbed-down.
posted by chococat at 9:57 AM on December 12, 2011


Another part of my skepticism is that Van Gogh's evolution as an artist was parallel to the development of color theory among multiple post-impressionists working in France at the time. So either we have a half-dozen different artists developing very similar forms of color-blindness over the course of two decades, or a community of artists who knew each other by reputation engaged in similar experiments in the use of color and composition.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:01 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


First, you can't really accidentally use a color in a painting. You've got to mix it. He didn't have this tube of green that looked the same as some other color so he thought, What the fuck, I'll throw some of this in there."

not only that, but his painting became more colorful as new pigments were introduced to the market. He wanted his paintings to be luminous, so he deliberately used complementary colors right next to each other to give that effect. Everything he put on the canvas was deliberate, and even if he had a visual deficiency, friends and patrons and critics did not- he would know full well the effect his color choices were having on other people.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:04 AM on December 12, 2011


I love Van Gogh's stuff. I hate these lame, "science-based" attempts to somehow account for the genius in it, because all they end up doing is reducing it. Which is entirely the wrong direction to go.
posted by philip-random at 10:04 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Van Gogh's pictures are also pretty good in black and white. I've yet to come up with a theory of why that is.
posted by monospace at 10:10 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, things like this always feel like an attempt to redefine an artist as a small problem that can be solved. Shakespeare was really a rich, noble, university-educated gentleman. Ives once heard two bands playing at the same time.
posted by pracowity at 10:24 AM on December 12, 2011


Leonardo was a time traveler; Jackson Pollock was really clumsy.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:31 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jackson Pollock was really clumsy.

I ACCIDENTALLY A TRICYCLE
posted by Hoopo at 10:34 AM on December 12, 2011


No. I don't buy it.

From the examples on the web page, it appears that these are "corrections" of scans from an art book, not the original paintings. So, his images started as a painting, then were photographed on film, then the film was converted to CMYK printing for a book, then printed, then scanned or photographed, and photoshop-recolorized. No conclusions about color accuracy can be made from an n-th generation image that has traveled through several color gamuts. The RGB of a computer screen or CMYK printed documents have a much smaller color gamut than a painting made from primary pigments. It is easy to create bright primary colors that fall well outside the gamut.

As to the corrections, well, they are so minor as to be almost imperceptible. I saw a little reduction in the greens, but almost no changes in the broad areas where Van Gogh focused on the color work. This sort of color shift is well within even the sort of minor color corrections used in the printing process.

Example: I remember once I was working in color prepress when a LACMA graphic designer came in with an ad that featured a de Kooning painting. I had studied that painting quite a bit, in person at the museum. I told her I didn't recall the painting being that bright yellow. She said the colors were accurate, so I took it into the color-controlled light booth and we examined it. Yes, it was a really hot yellow, sure it was probably something like Cadmium Yellow Deep, but the intensity was too high as photographed. And of course, yellow is one of the hardest colors to photograph on color film. We discussed it, but ultimately there was no way to print it at that intensity without using a "strike plate" of an additional printing stage, making it 5 color CMYYK. So I dialed it back into CMYK gamut and everything was back in proper color relative to the printing ink gamut.

But ultimately, I think blurker is on the right track..

Wouldn't any color deficiency also be associated with the pigments being used, thereby driving the artist to use the color that looked most like what they were trying to recreate?

MeFi has discussed this before, this post links to a photo of Van Gogh's preserved palette. I think a lot of the color work in VG's work is driven by the pigments he had available. VG was always poor and had a hard time getting pigments. Bright colors are expensive, earth tones, mineral colors, and white are cheap. VG tended to use a limited palette in his early work, limiting bright colors or using them with white, in pastel tones, just to make the paint go a little further. In his later work, he had more bright pigments and uses them liberally.

But.. sometimes the goal is just to make a color that works artistically, rather than realistically. Consider it akin to the Photoshop color printing options "Colorimetric" vs. "Perceptual." Sometimes you just can't make the color you want. Most painters use a limited palette of primary colors plus a few secondary colors. I primarily use RGBs but then I have some secondary mixing colors. I keep some purple and green secondaries, sure you can mix them from other colors. But sometimes it works better to tone down a yellow with violet than to try to make a mixable violet from blue and red. But some colors just get away from you.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:35 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I love Van Gogh's stuff. I hate these lame, "science-based" attempts to somehow account for the genius in it, because all they end up doing is reducing it. Which is entirely the wrong direction to go.

Pretty much this. Van Gogh's well-documented mental illness brings out every interpretation under the sun from vertigo to syphilis to lead poisoning and probably a few dozen more.

He pretty much defines the "tortured artist" archetype and the sheer uniqueness of his work makes it impossible for people to leave the armchair analyzing alone.
posted by jeremias at 10:36 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


This seems to me very much like the notion that El Greco had a vision defect that caused him to see normal living people as extremely tall and skinny, which is why his paintings are full of tall, skinny people.

No. Painters have only one pair of eyes (per painter, way ahead of you) and they have to look at both their subjects and their paintings with that one pair. Even assuming El G did see real people as distorted and vertically stretched, that wouldn't make him paint stretched people that the rest of us can see also. He looks at people of ordinary proportions, and they look tall and skinny to him; so he paints people of ordinary proportions, and they look tall and skinny to him, and everything matches. Anybody who just must have an explanation for all those tall, skinny El Greco people (or all those tall, skinny Giacometti people) needs to come up with a better explanation than "He needed glasses."
posted by jfuller at 10:38 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought Giacometti lived in a special island colony somewhere that was entirely populated by people made of Rebar.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:41 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Van Gogh's pictures are also pretty good in black and white. I've yet to come up with a theory of why that is.

This is why:

Practice, practice, practice.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:41 AM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think the originals, as shown on that web page at least, are way more interesting and dynamic. I don't even get why she's pushing them as being some kind of wonderful improvement.
posted by shelleycat at 10:47 AM on December 12, 2011


I don't know... These altered images just looked more normal to me, a person with normal color vision. I always assumed that someone with a color vision problem saw the world differently than I do, and all the simulations of color vision problems I have seen in the past did not look normal. There appears to be an assumption that Van Gogh was just painting what he saw. As Blake says you have to look THROUGH the eye and not just WITH the eye. Van Gogh was looking through his eyes...
posted by njohnson23 at 10:48 AM on December 12, 2011


ultraviolet catastrophe: "I'm not sure why people feel the need to posit these silly hypotheses. Don't his painting speak for themselves without the need for added interpretation? It's completely ridiculous to say that only color deficient people have understood Van Gogh's "true genius.""

Colorblind hipster: I was color blind before technology allowed the rest of you to be color blind.
posted by symbioid at 10:48 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Digitalis.

If van Gogh's experience with digitalis was anything like mine, I think that goes a long way in explaining his use of yellow later in his life.

I took digitalis for many years as a child and yellow was far and away my favorite color. In fact, it loses something to just call it a color - it glowed and radiated warmth. It could be absolutely mesmerizing at times and I literally enjoyed just staring at it. I craved it. I loved drawing/coloring yellow suns, yellow fire, yellow laser beams and explosions.

I stopped taking digitalis over 30 years ago and yellow quickly lost its uniqueness. It returned to being just another color (now my favorite color is blue, but my attraction to blue is maybe only 5-10% of what it was for yellow).

Strange as it may sound, I still have a lingering emotional attachment to yellow, presumably ingrained from the strange effect it used to have on me. It's sort'uv like looking a chocolate cake when you're full - you don't crave it, but you wish you did.

(FWIW I can't tell any difference between the before/after images. I'm partially color blind, so maybe that's it?)
posted by Davenhill at 10:49 AM on December 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


The author has a a free Chromatic Vision Simulator app out and a Ph.D. in Medical Science and Media Design, so obviously he's bringing his personal biases and POV to his thoughts here. I thought a very interesting part of this was, as straight commented, the idea of seeing the paintings through a different lens.

The author states at the end of the piece linked:

"Van Gogh is the exemplar of “the color deficient individual is sometimes superior to the color normal color individual,” showing those of us who possibly tended to think, “the color normal individual is superior to the color deficient individual (from the point of seeing and understanding color).” It reminds us that it is normal for one human being to excel in certain ways, while another is excellent in other ways.

Of course, the premise of this guess may be wrong. Regardless of whether this hypothesis is correct or incorrect, the fact that his work is wonderful and appeals to many people does not change a bit. Still, it is enjoyable to imagine and see his works thinking that we share his eyes."


So he's not trying to shove a new crackpot theory down anyone's throat. He's thinking about how Van Gogh might have seen his own paintings if he had a color vision deficiency and picking at that hypothesis, since color vision deficiencies are part of his field and something he works on often. I think it's obvious he's not super-invested in the idea, it was just something neat he was turning around in his head and playing with.

I've always wondered how other people see the colors I see, how they might see them differently though my unconscious bias is to assume they see them the same, so I found this to be an interesting tweak on perspective.
posted by flex at 11:02 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm looking through the stories of the other artists. I always thought the most tragic story was Monet. I look at some of his last works like the Water Lilies series, and knowing of his vision problems, I wonder how he did them at all. Whenever I think of Monet and his struggle against his aging vision, I always think of my favorite photo of him. He is elderly, with scraggly hair and wearing a beret. We see him from behind, sitting on a stool in front of a portable easel and a small canvas. He is holding his palette and painting in the driving rain.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:06 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


It seems as if Kazunori Asada has yet to experience the overwhelming difference between a real painting and a reproduction. Tickets to MoMA anyone?
posted by francesca too at 11:16 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Criticism and snark aside, I welcome the opportunity to talk about Van Gogh on Metafilter and it's heartening to hear so many people talk about the importance of seeing paintings in real life rather than merely reproductions. Thanks for the post, flex.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:28 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bright colors are expensive, earth tones, mineral colors, and white are cheap. VG tended to use a limited palette in his early work, limiting bright colors or using them with white, in pastel tones, just to make the paint go a little further. In his later work, he had more bright pigments and uses them liberally.

I hate these lame, "economics-based" analyses.... (j/k)

There's some overreaction. As flex notes, he does call this a hypothesis, and seems to be using it more for insight than for ideology; and why shouldn't he promote this technology? Obviously there's room for a more thorough investigation of a real painting in real lighting conditions, but of course we'll never know what Van Gogh actually saw.

Still, as much as I allow for this sort of scientific reduction, a dialectic of the author, I think the reader/viewer of a work has something to bring to the table as well. One of the things I love about modern art, especially the early modern period, is how startling it all is. This refers to "The Water Lilies" as much as "The Waste-Land". Or "Starry Night". What is most amazing when you think about this is the implication is almost inescapable that someone was the first to see something a certain way -- but on examination that can't really be true. There is social context for everything; none of us is as unique as we think we are. What we are left with is that someone was the first to say something a certain way. I think this is inherent in particularly Impressionism. We as viewers of the art wouldn't react to it so strongly if it didn't speak to something within that we had already ourselves seen.

By this line of reasoning, it's hard to imagine that "Starry Night" could have been done any other way, and indeed that there must have been something important Van Gogh was trying to say with his colors and patterns -- but if so, he must have known, somehow, how vibrant and fresh this coloration was in the first place.
posted by dhartung at 11:49 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


it's heartening to hear so many people talk about the importance of seeing paintings in real life rather than merely reproductions.

This is a good part of why I moved to Europe. Not too many opportunities for seeing these things in the flesh back in NZ, and I have a list of galleries and museums to visit which will keep me busy for years to come.
posted by shelleycat at 11:52 AM on December 12, 2011


Wow, I've never heard of this. Unfortunately I see no difference between the left/right images as a colorblind person.
posted by odinsdream at 11:57 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


odinsdream, the difference is that the pictures on the right side are washed out, smoothed down, dull, and not worth looking at.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 2:49 PM on December 12, 2011


"I love Van Gogh's stuff. I hate these lame, "science-based" attempts to somehow account for the genius in it, because all they end up doing is reducing it. Which is entirely the wrong direction to go."

Me too. Let's give the guy some credit for the genius he was instead of thing to explain it away. Plus some of his lesser work like the exploding Tardis were really groundbreaking in other ways.
posted by Mcable at 3:21 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


That should be "trying to explain it away". Clearly, my brilliance as a writer is a result of my inability to spellcheck.
posted by Mcable at 3:28 PM on December 12, 2011


By this line of reasoning, it's hard to imagine that "Starry Night" could have been done any other way, and indeed that there must have been something important Van Gogh was trying to say with his colors and patterns -- but if so, he must have known, somehow, how vibrant and fresh this coloration was in the first place.

There are obvious passages in his paintings that I can just imagine Van Gogh thinking, "this Prussian Blue is amazing," or "this Cadmium Red and Cad Yellow paint works great together." VG is very "painterly" and a painter painting painterly thinks in paint.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:31 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


What those "explenations" have in common is that they're trying to explain away the wrong problem: why is it that a van Gogh failed to create photorealistic paintings.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:26 AM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Look at some of his sketches. He didn't fail to do anything. He didn't make photorealistic paintings for the same reason the greeks abandoned high realism a generation after they achieved it. It had been done, and it's boring.
posted by cmoj at 11:04 AM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


By the 1880s, the writing on the wall was that photography would do photorealism better than the human painter. There was a bit of an interesting back-and-forth conflict between fine art photography and painting at the time, with photographers hand-tinting and texturing their prints to look more painterly, and painters becoming more and more stylized and abstract.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:52 AM on December 13, 2011


MartinWisse: What those "explenations" have in common is that they're trying to explain away the wrong problem: why is it that a van Gogh failed to create photorealistic paintings.


cmoj: Look at some of his sketches. He didn't fail to do anything. He didn't make photorealistic paintings for the same reason the greeks abandoned high realism a generation after they achieved it. It had been done, and it's boring.

cmoj, I believe you are stating exactly what MartinWisse is implying: that all of these "explanations" for why Van Gogh's work (and others) doesn't look "normal" (photorealistic, mainstream...) make the mistake of presuming that "normal" was a goal for them.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:38 PM on December 13, 2011


Gah, I can barely parse that paragraph myself! Attempt #2:

cmoj, I believe you are stating what MartinWisse is implying: that all of these "explanations" mistakenly presume that "normal" was a goal for the artist.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:40 PM on December 13, 2011


If so, then I agree. I took "failing" to mean trying but failing. And why is it a problem?

There are a lot of people out there still who think that anything other than aspiring to photorealism is a waste of time and indication of lack of talent. I don't know if that's MW's position or not.
posted by cmoj at 5:41 PM on December 13, 2011


CBrachyrhynchos: By the 1880s, the writing on the wall was that photography would do photorealism better than the human painter.

So you're saying that photography could do photography better than it could do painting? That is a tautology.

In the 1880s, it was not at all clear what photography was for. Some of the earliest experiments in photo compositing were obviously not real even if they were "realistic." Other experimenters like Marey and Muybridge captured "real" images of events that occurred too fast for human perception. Your assertion that photography wanted to be like painting, and painting wanted to be like photography, is an overly simplistic model.

cmoj: There are a lot of people out there still who think that anything other than aspiring to photorealism is a waste of time and indication of lack of talent.

Van Gogh's works are significantly more "photorealistic" than something like this, for example. And yet, that was the standard of "realism" for many many years.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:00 PM on December 13, 2011


So you're saying that photography could do photography better than it could do painting?

Of course not, although the parallel could be better constructed. The photographer could do photorealism better than the human painter could do photorealism.

Your assertion that photography wanted to be like painting, and painting wanted to be like photography, is an overly simplistic model.

Probably because I didn't assert that. To be more specific, avant garde painters tended to become more stylized and abstract from 1872 onward, while fine art photographers tended to imitate painterly composition and texture over the same period in a movement called pictorialism.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 9:44 PM on December 13, 2011


And yet, that was the standard of "realism" for many many years.

As an aside, I don't think it's clear that there was any attempt at photorealism at the time, but more on point... so? You don't think Van Gogh had seen Holbein or Van Eyck or Caravaggio? Realism had been achieved separately by the Greeks and Romans and adopted and abandoned as fashion changed. I guess I don't understand what you're getting at. Why does that make photorealism the gold standard for what an artist should aspire to?
posted by cmoj at 9:58 PM on December 13, 2011


CBrachyrhynchos: To be more specific, avant garde painters tended to become more stylized and abstract from 1872 onward, while fine art photographers tended to imitate painterly composition and texture over the same period in a movement called pictorialism.

Yes, like I said, you are declaring that painters wanted their works to be more photographic, and photographers wanted their works to be more painterly. And I assure you this is not true. Yes, there were short lived phenomenon like the Photo Secession and Neo-impressionism. They are not particularly representative of any art historical trends.

cmoj: Why does that make photorealism the gold standard for what an artist should aspire to?

I don't believe it does. But perhaps we do not agree on the term "photorealism," which technically speaking, refers to a movement in the late 1970s and 80s. And we can't really use the term "realism" since that is a different movement. But I know what you mean.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:57 PM on December 13, 2011


Yes, like I said, you are declaring that painters wanted their works to be more photographic...

This is the exact opposite of what I actually, plainly, and clearly wrote twice.

...and photographers wanted their works to be more painterly.

Yes, during that time period most fine-art photography did attempt to be more painterly through the use of techniques like soft focus, imitating the composition and framing of the impressionists, hand-tinting photographs, and the use of gum arabic to add surface textures. This was the dominant trend for photographers for over a quarter century, including the period that Van Gogh did most of his great works.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 5:20 AM on December 14, 2011


Yes, during that time period most fine-art photography did attempt to be more painterly through the use of techniques like soft focus, imitating the composition and framing of the impressionists, hand-tinting photographs, and the use of gum arabic to add surface textures. This was the dominant trend for photographers for over a quarter century, including the period that Van Gogh did most of his great works.

This is where you are on my turf. I've been working in Gum Printing for 35 years, I'm intimately acquainted with the Pictorialists. And I assure you, they were never the dominant trend. Groups like the Photo Secession were very small and had only a minor influence on photographers, and even less on painters. You want to know Van Gogh's primary influences? Aside from Impressionism, it was Japonisme.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:49 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


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