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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Faldoni, parts 2468 - 2471

 2468. All fresco painting becomes lighter and whiter as it dries out, and the old masters had to adjust all their colors accordingly, but to Faldoni it was an inexplicable surprise, and he decided that what he must do is watch the master very carefully, and figure out exactly how this kind of painting was to be done.

 2469. Yes, Faldoni imagined that he could learn how to paint a face by watching a master painter paint a face, and simply making a mental note of the steps involved. How many steps could their be? Perhaps there were eight or nine steps all together, and he would watch the master do several faces, note down the steps, and then he would be able to do a face himself.

 2470. This is an odd idea that Faldoni had, although many people share the notion. Who would ever imagine that you could learn to play the violin by watching a violinist play. Could you learn to speak Chinese by watching Chinese people talking? No, you cannot learn a complicated art by watching it being done. There is only one thing you can learn by watching, and that is how to watch things. And even that is not certain.

2471. The master was well aware that his students thought they could learn to paint faces by watching him paint a face, and the notion was irritating to him, because he though it belittled his art. He expressed his disdain for the idea with this little lecture.

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