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Q&A | February 27, 2014

Rene Denfeld: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Rene Denfeld



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Pictures & Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings

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Pictures & Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings Cover

ISBN13: 9780415970532
ISBN10: 0415970539
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Synopsis:

Pictures and Tears is a strange and wonderful investigation into paintings and the emotions they evoke.

In past centuries, viewers were often moved by paintings. Fourth-century Greek painting depicted people in states of extreme grief, so that the viewer might respond in kind. Crying in front of paintings was commonplace in the Middle Ages. There were more tears in the eighteenth century, and then again in the age of Romanticism. Why have the last hundred years been so dry by comparison?

James Elkins writes about his encounter with Bellini's Ecstasy of St. Francis in the Frick Collection, the effect of the Rothko Chapel on visitors, our responses to Caravaggio, Greuze, Friedrich, Bouts, David, Ingres, Regnault, a Kamakura period landscape, and Van Gogh. Hundreds of correspondents shared with him their experiences of crying in front of paintings, fleshing out what becomes a history of emotion and vulnerability, and an inquiry into the nature of art.

This is a book for people who have wondered at the power of painting and been moved by it, perhaps even to tears. Also includes an 8-page color insert.

Synopsis:

Art Does art leave you cold? And is that what it's supposed to do? Or is a painting meant to move you to tears? Hemingway was reduced to tears in the midst of a drinking bout when a painting by James Thurber caught his eye. And what's bad about that? In Pictures and Tears, art historian James Elkins tells the story of paintings that have made people cry. Drawing upon anecdotes related to individual works of art, he provides a chronicle of how people have shown emotion before works of art in the past, and a meditation on the curious tearlessness with which most people approach art in the present. Deeply personal, Pictures and Tears is a history of emotion and vulnerability, and an inquiry into the nature of art. This book is a rare and invaluable treasure for people who love art. Also includes an 8-page color insert.

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lettherebebooks, November 18, 2013 (view all comments by lettherebebooks)
To cry, to shed tears, to weep, to fall to the ground - all because of a painted picture. Elkins shares insights from letters shared by contemporaries. He rummages through the bins of history to find examples to support his theory that there is something about paintings that can push us to tears. Sadly, he tells us that with the weight of knowledge we now carry about art (thanks to people like him), we are less likely to succumb to our emotions when confronted with a painting. We live in a time where we have learned to distance ourselves from displaying emotions - it is a "tearless time." But Elkins gives us advice on how to be open to paintings. "Throw yourself into looking," says he. And, say I, throw yourself into reading Elkins' fascinating books about art.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780415970532
Author:
Elkins, James
Publisher:
Routledge
Subject:
History - General
Subject:
Techniques - Painting
Subject:
History : General
Subject:
Art-History and Criticism
Publication Date:
20040231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
6.08x7.48x.77 in. .67 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Painting » General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Theory and Criticism

Pictures & Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings New Trade Paper
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$45.75 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Routledge - English 9780415970532 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Pictures and Tears is a strange and wonderful investigation into paintings and the emotions they evoke.

In past centuries, viewers were often moved by paintings. Fourth-century Greek painting depicted people in states of extreme grief, so that the viewer might respond in kind. Crying in front of paintings was commonplace in the Middle Ages. There were more tears in the eighteenth century, and then again in the age of Romanticism. Why have the last hundred years been so dry by comparison?

James Elkins writes about his encounter with Bellini's Ecstasy of St. Francis in the Frick Collection, the effect of the Rothko Chapel on visitors, our responses to Caravaggio, Greuze, Friedrich, Bouts, David, Ingres, Regnault, a Kamakura period landscape, and Van Gogh. Hundreds of correspondents shared with him their experiences of crying in front of paintings, fleshing out what becomes a history of emotion and vulnerability, and an inquiry into the nature of art.

This is a book for people who have wondered at the power of painting and been moved by it, perhaps even to tears. Also includes an 8-page color insert.

"Synopsis" by , Art Does art leave you cold? And is that what it's supposed to do? Or is a painting meant to move you to tears? Hemingway was reduced to tears in the midst of a drinking bout when a painting by James Thurber caught his eye. And what's bad about that? In Pictures and Tears, art historian James Elkins tells the story of paintings that have made people cry. Drawing upon anecdotes related to individual works of art, he provides a chronicle of how people have shown emotion before works of art in the past, and a meditation on the curious tearlessness with which most people approach art in the present. Deeply personal, Pictures and Tears is a history of emotion and vulnerability, and an inquiry into the nature of art. This book is a rare and invaluable treasure for people who love art. Also includes an 8-page color insert.
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