Friday, February 3, 2012

John Berger, Ways of Seeing.

We were given a pictorial chapter from 'Ways of Seeing' by John Berger, and a set of questions to keep in mind. At first I watched the four part BBC series by Berger, this was then transformed into the book. I felt this would help me understand the idea of the book a bit more. I found this on YouTube, We also had a seminar discussion on the text to share every ones opinions.

Gustave Courbet - Woman with White Stockings, 1861

Gustave Courbet - Young Woman by the Seine, 1856
This chapter of Berger's book is made entirely of pictures, with no text at all. I think that a lot of these pictures and paintings are strong enough by themselves, therefore don't need words to go with them. I feel like Berger many have left them text-less so that the text wouldn't take you away from the picture, or give you a different opinion on what you see for yourself. These paintings would have been originally hung on a wall, everything around it would have made up the picture and made it feel a different way if it was viewed somewhere else, this could of changed the meaning of the image. They would also been unique to one place, paintings lost something once cameras made them reproducible. 

William Blake - Europe Supported  by Africa and America, 1796

William Blake - Mildew Blighting  Ears of Corn

William Blake - Pity, 1795

The paintings in this chapter are from 1790-1890 most of them are portrait paintings of women. Showing feminism, the female form, and the roles of woman in the early 19th Century.

Images scanned in off hand out.

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