Friday, March 10, 2017

A Street In Venice

John Singer Sargent

Funny.  Almost a photograph, the man on the left looking at the woman, or at the painter/photographer.  The woman, vaguely self-conscious the way women are when you pass them on the street and they know you're looking at them but they're in their space and prefer (or know better) not to acknowledge it but the averted gaze gives them away.  They know, and feel just enough that their subtle action betrays their intent.  That's something I'll never have to deal with, as a man.  People look, but it's a safe bet that they'll never intrude on my inner space the way they will a woman.  Not even a hello, let alone a lewd comment or a catcall or a come-on.  Sargent nails this one though.  How single-minded to capture the full depth through the length of time required to paint it.  A photographer has a second to change the entire composition, or simply change their mind.  A painter has to sit in it.

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