the uniqueness of unnamed seeing

The precision of naming takes away
from the uniqueness of seeing.
– Pierre Bonnard

… a short excerpt from Rupert Spira‘s book, Presence, Vol 1, with paintings by the artists he mentions …

– – –

An artist tries to represent, that is, to re-present, to present again a vision of experience that evokes its reality, to make something that has the power within it to draw the viewer into its own reality.

 

Pierre Bonnard: Nude in a Bathtub

That is what the French painter, Pierre Bonnard, was trying to capture: the timeless moment of perception before thinking has divided the world into a perceiving subject and a perceived object and then further sub-divided the object into ‘ten thousand things.’

And what did that vision look like in Bonnard’s view? It was a world brimming with colour, intensity, harmony and dancing with vitality. It was world in which the edge of the bath or an old wooden floorboard were given the same attention, the same love, as were the curve of a cheek or the gesture of a hand.

 

William Blake: Song of Los

It was the same moment that William Blake wanted to evoke. He was once questioned, “When you see the sun rise do you not see a round disc of fire somewhat like a guinea?” And he replied, “Oh no, no! I see an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying ‘Glory, Glory, Glory is the Lord God Almighty.’”

 

J.M.W. Turner: Sunrise with a Boat between Headlands

Likewise, William Turner who is reported to have been returning home from Hampstead Heath with a painting under his arm late one evening, when a local resident stopped him and asked to see the painting. After looking at it for some time the resident remarked, “Mr. Turner, I have never seen a sun set over Hampstead Heath like that,” to which Turner replied, “No, but don’t you wish you could.”

 

Paul Cezanne: Bend in a Forest Road

The body and mind of the artist is the medium through which nature interprets itself to itself. It is the medium through which nature explores and realises its own identity. As Cézanne said, “I become the subjective consciousness of the landscape and my painting becomes its objective consciousness.”

– Rupert Spira

Presence: The Art of Peace and Happiness – Volume 1


Links to related pages and posts on this site:

rupert spira at the artisans’ gallery

paul cézanne

nature’s eternity – an essay on paul cézanne by rupert spira

blake’s eternal delight

artisans

artisans’ gallery

 


Sources of images:
Pierre Bonnard – Nude in a bathtub
William Blake – Song of Los
J.M.W. Turner – Sunrise, with a Boat between Headlands
Paul Cézanne – Bend in a Forest Road


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5 thoughts on “the uniqueness of unnamed seeing

  1. This is powerful, and a perfect bit of insight as I reflect on the power of vision now: “… a vision of experience that evokes its reality, to make something that has the power within it to draw the viewer into its own reality.”

    Thanks for a lovely sharing! Blessings, Jamie

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