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      英語世界
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      Six Odd Details Hidden in Masterpieces
      發布時間:2021年04月01日     陸璐 譯  
      來源: 英語世界
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      Six Odd Details Hidden in Masterpieces

      藝術杰作中的六個怪誕細節


      Great works of art contain touches of strangeness that, once seen, unlock deeper meaning.

      杰出的藝術作品中包含著怪誕的細節,一旦留意到它們,就能領略作品更深層的內涵。


      By Kelly Grovier

      文/凱莉·格羅維爾


      What do the greatest paintings and sculptures in cultural history – from Girl with a Pearl Earring to Picasso’s Guernica1, from the Terracotta Army to Edvard Munch’s The Scream – have in common? Each is hardwired with an underappreciated, indeed often overlooked, detail that ignites its meaning from deep inside.


      從《戴珍珠耳環的少女》到畢加索的《格爾尼卡》,從兵馬俑到愛德華·蒙克的《吶喊》,文化史上最杰出的繪畫、雕塑作品的共同之處是什么?每件杰作都有一處未得到充分欣賞、其實常常被忽略的細節,而這一細節會激發作品深層的含義。


      Taking as my starting point the most revered images in all of human history (from Trajan’s Column2 to American Gothic3, the Elgin Marbles4 to Matisse’s The Dance5), I went looking for what makes great art great – why some works continue to vibrate in popular imagination century after century, while the vast majority of artistic creations slip our consciousness almost as quickly as we encounter them. Combing the surface of these works, I was surprised to discover that each contains a flourish of strangeness which, once spotted, unlocks exciting new readings and changes forever the way we engage with these masterpieces.


      我從人類歷史上一些最受尊崇的作品(例如圖拉真紀功柱、《美國哥特式》、埃爾金大理石雕、馬蒂斯的《舞蹈》)出發,開始探尋藝術杰作何以逸群絕倫,設法了解為什么有些作品歷經多個世紀仍然可以讓人浮想聯翩,而絕大多數藝術創作卻只不過是過眼云煙。仔細研究過這些杰作的外觀后,我驚訝地發現它們每一件都富含怪誕的細節,一經發現,就會引發令人興奮的全新解讀,永遠改變我們欣賞這些杰作的方式。


      Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus (1482-5)6

      桑德羅·波提切利,《維納斯的誕生》(1482—1485

       維納斯的誕生

      A wind-spun spiral of golden hair suspended on the goddess’s right shoulder in Sandro Botticelli’s Renaissance masterpiece The Birth of Venus whirs like a miniature motor on the vertical axis of the painting, propelling it forward into our imagination. A perfect logarithmic curl, this is no incidental ornament or accident of brushwork. The same spinning vector, observable in the plunge of raptor birds and the twist of nautilus shells, has hypnotised thinkers since antiquity. In the 17th century, a Swiss mathematician, Jacob Bernoulli, would eventually christen the curl spira mirabilis, or “marvellous spiral”. In Botticelli’s painting – a work that celebrates timeless elegance – the inscrutable spiral whispers into Venus’s right ear, divulging to her the very secrets of truth and beauty.


      在桑德羅·波提切利文藝復興時期的代表作《維納斯的誕生》中,一縷金發呈螺旋狀搭在維納斯右肩,被風呼呼吹動,好似畫面縱軸的一臺微型發動機,將畫推入我們的想象。這條完美的對數曲線狀卷發絕非次要的點綴或意外的筆觸,它與猛禽的俯沖路徑和鸚鵡螺殼上的螺旋相吻合,自古以來就讓眾多思想家著迷。17世紀,瑞士數學家雅各布·貝爾努利最終將其命名為spira mirabilis,即奇跡螺線。在波提切利這幅贊頌永恒優雅的畫作中,這條神秘的螺線對著維納斯的右耳低語,向她訴說著真與美的奧秘。


      Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights (1505-10)7

      耶羅尼米斯·博斯,《人間樂園》(1505—1510

       

      That an egg lies hidden in plain sight at the dead centre8 of Hieronymus Bosch’s carnival of fleshly shenanigans (balanced atop a horseman’s head) is well enough known by critics and casual admirers of the painting alike. But how does that delicate detail unlock the work’s truest meaning? If we swing shut the triptych’s side panels to reveal the work’s outer shell and the ghostly ovoid of a fragile world that Bosch has depicted on the work’s exterior – a translucent orb floating in the ether – we discover that he conceived his painting as a kind of egg endlessly to be cracked and uncracked every time we engage with the complex work. By opening and closing Bosch’s painting, we alternately set a fledgling world in motion or turn the hand of time back to before the beginning, before our innocence was lost.


      耶羅尼米斯·博斯這幅作品展現了人類肉欲的放縱狂歡,無論是評論家還是一般欣賞者,都知道有一顆蛋藏在這幅畫的正中心顯眼處(頂在一名騎馬者的頭上)。然而這個小細節如何揭示畫作的真實內涵?如果我們合起左右兩扇屏風,展示畫作的外殼和上面繪制的圖案——一個脆弱的、幽靈般的半透明卵形世界懸浮在以太之中,就能看出博斯將這幅復雜畫作構思成了一顆會隨觀畫者的每一次欣賞而不斷被打破再被復原的蛋。通過開合這幅三聯畫,我們時而啟動一個新生世界,時而倒轉時間回到創世之初、人類純真尚存之時。


      Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring (c. 1665)

      約翰內斯·維米爾,《戴珍珠耳環的少女》(約1665

       戴珍珠耳環的少女

      Think you see a pearl dangling lustrously in Vermeer’s famous portrait of a girl endlessly turning towards or away from us? Think again. The swollen bauble around which the painting’s mystery spins is just a pigment of your imagination. With a flick of the wrist and two deft dabs of white paint, the artist has tricked the primary visual cortices of our brains’ occipital lobes into magicking9 a pearl from the thinnest of air. Squint as tight as you wish and there is no loop that links the ornament to her ear. Its very sphericity is a hoax. We’ve willed the earring into weightless suspension from the puniest of white apostrophes. Vermeer’s precious gem is an opulent optical illusion, one that reflects back on our own illusory presence in the world.


      在維米爾這幅著名的側身肖像畫里,你是否認為自己看到了從女孩耳朵上垂下的那顆光澤奪目的珍珠——在觀畫者眼中,那女孩始終處于一種狀態,不是在轉向他們就是要轉離他們?再想一想。這幅畫的神秘之處就在這件花哨的球形小飾品,它是你用想象畫上去的。畫家輕輕一抖手腕,嫻熟地點上兩筆白顏料,就欺騙了我們大腦枕葉的初級視皮層,讓它憑空變出了一顆珍珠。你大可以瞇起眼睛仔細觀察,珍珠和少女的耳朵之間沒有任何鏈環相連。珍珠所呈現的球形就是一場騙局,是我們的主觀感受讓寥寥幾筆白顏料變成輕若無物垂掛著的耳飾。維米爾筆下的名貴寶石是一場華麗的視錯覺,它反映了我們自身在這世上存在的虛幻性。


      Georges Seurat, Bathers at Asnières (1884)

      喬治·修拉,《阿尼埃爾的浴場》(1884

       

      The large painting of Parisians whiling away a lazy lunch hour on the banks of the river Seine, the first work ever exhibited by Seurat, was initially finished in 1884. It was then touched up by the artist years later, after he had begun to perfect his signature technique10 of applying small distinct dots that cohere in the eye of the observer when seen at a distance. The colour theory that underpins Seurat’s more mature pointillist style owes its origin in part to the ideas of a French chemist, Michel Eugène Chevreul, who explained how the juxtaposition of hues can generate a persistence of tone in our imagination. In the hazy distance of Seurat’s painting, a row of smokestacks rise from a factory that produced candles according to an industrial innovation for which Chevreul was also responsible. These chimneys, which seem more like paintbrushes daubing the work into existence, are a tribute to the thinker without whom Seurat’s resplendent vision would not have been possible.


      這幅大型畫作描繪的是巴黎人在塞納河畔慵懶地消磨午休時光的場景,它是修拉展出的第一幅作品,最初完成于1884年。幾年后,修拉又對它進行了潤色,此時他的代表技法已經日趨完善,他擅長點涂一個個獨特的色點,從一定距離觀看即可看到連片的畫面。支撐修拉進一步完善點彩派風格的色彩理論,部分源自法國化學家米歇爾·歐仁·謝弗勒爾,他解釋了并置的色彩如何在我們的想象中調和成揮之不去的色調。在修拉畫作朦朧的遠景中,蠟燭廠聳立著一排煙囪,而蠟燭廠采用的工藝創新技術也是謝弗勒爾研制的。這些煙囪形似使使作品得以誕生的畫筆,它們是對思想家謝弗勒爾的致敬,沒有他,修拉就不會創作出如此絢麗的圖景。


      Edvard Munch, The Scream (1893)

      愛德華·蒙克,《吶喊》(1893

       

      It has long been assumed that the howling figure in Edvard Munch’s The Scream – an archetype of angst that still flickers above the popular imagination more than a century after it was created – was indebted chiefly to the aghast expression frozen on the face of a Peruvian mummy that the artist encountered at the 1889 Universal Exposition11 in Paris. But Munch was an artist concerned more about the future than the past, and especially anxious about the pace of technology. Surely he would have been even more deeply impressed by the breath-taking spectacle of an enormous lightbulb filled with 20,000 smaller bulbs that stood on a pedestal and towered over the pavilion in the same Exposition. A tribute to the ideas of Thomas Edison, the sculpture rose like a crystalline god heralding a new idolatry, flipping a switch12 in Munch’s mind. The contours of The Scream’s yowling face reflect with extraordinary precision the drooping jaw and bulbous cranium of Edison’s terrifying electric totem13.


      《吶喊》中大力叫喊的人物是驚懼情緒的典型具現,問世一個多世紀后,那種驚懼仍超乎大眾的想象。長久以來,人們都認為蒙克的創作靈感主要源自他在1889年巴黎世博會上看到的一具秘魯木乃伊臉上定格的驚恐神態。然而,比起歷史,畫家蒙克更關注未來,他特別擔憂技術的發展速度。當時另一件令人驚嘆的展品理應讓他更受啟發。那是一座向愛迪生的發明致敬的巨大電燈泡雕塑,內含兩萬枚小燈泡,像一位晶瑩剔透的神靈從世博會展廳里的基座上拔地而起,高聳在世博會的展廳里,預示著新的偶像崇拜,也在蒙克的腦海里激發了新思辨?!秴群啊樊嬜髦刑柦腥四樀妮喞趾敛徊畹赜痴樟藧鄣仙橇钊梭@嘆的電氣圖騰——下巴低垂、頭顱圓鼓。


      Gustav Klimt, The Kiss (1907)14

      古斯塔夫·克里姆特,《吻》(1907

       

      Surely love and passion stand at the furthest extreme from the long white lab coats and microscopic slides of scientific testing. Not according to Gustav Klimt’s painting The Kiss. The year he painted his work, Vienna was alive with the language of platelets and blood cells, especially around the University of Vienna where Klimt himself had, years earlier, been invited to create paintings based on medical themes. Look closer at the curious patterns that throb on the woman’s frock in Klimt’s painting and one suddenly sees them for what they are: Petri dishes pulsing with cells as if the artist has offered us a scan of her soul. The Kiss is Klimt’s luminous biopsy of eternal love.


      愛與激情,實驗室白大褂與化驗標本,這兩組詞語無疑代表著兩個極端,可它們卻在古斯塔夫·克里姆特的畫作《吻》中得以調和。在他完成這幅畫作時,諸如血小板和血細胞的詞語在維也納不絕于耳,尤其是在維也納大學周邊,克里姆特從多年前就受邀來此創作醫學主題的畫作。湊近觀察克里姆特的畫作,可以驟然發現女人裙子上躍動的古怪圖案正是裝滿細胞的皮氏培養皿,仿佛畫家把這個女人的靈魂掃描影像展現在了我們面前?!段恰肥强死锬诽貫橛篮愕膼壑谱鞯拈W亮的活檢切片。


      (譯者為“《英語世界》杯”翻譯大賽獲獎者)


      注釋:

       

      1. 《格爾尼卡》是以納粹轟炸西班牙北部巴斯克的重鎮格爾尼卡、殺害無辜的事件為背景創作的一幅畫,采用了寫實的象征性手法和單純的黑、白、灰三色營造出低沉悲涼的氛圍,渲染了悲劇性色彩,表現了法西斯戰爭給人類帶來的災難。

       

      2. 圖拉真紀功柱,或譯作圖拉真柱、圖拉真凱旋柱,位于意大利圖拉真廣場,是羅馬帝國皇帝圖拉真為紀念征服達西亞所立。

       

      3. 《美國哥特式》是美國畫家格蘭特·伍德創作的板上油畫,是芝加哥藝術博物館的一件鎮館之寶。

       

      4. 埃爾金大理石雕是古希臘帕特農神廟的部分雕刻和建筑殘件,是大英博物館最著名的藏品之一。

       

      5. 《舞蹈》是“野獸派”畫家亨利·馬蒂斯創作的布面油畫。

       

      6. 《維納斯的誕生》是意大利畫家桑德羅·波提切利創作的畫布蛋彩畫;英文“1482-5”應為畫作完成的年份,但具體完成時間存在爭議(如英文維基百科上標注的是“1484-1486”)。

       

      7. 《人間樂園》是早期尼德蘭派畫家耶羅尼米斯·博斯創作的三聯畫作品,由三塊屏風狀的油畫組成,屏風合起時可以看到背面混沌球體的圖案,象征上帝創世。

       

      8. dead centre 正中心。

       

      9. magick是magic的古代拼法,意為“用魔法變出(或使消失、使變成……等)”。

       

      10. 修拉的代表技法是對光和色進行分解,使用不同色彩的圓點繪畫,觀者站在一定距離看去時,畫面的兩種色彩會恰好混合成一種新的顏色。

       

      11. 世界博覽會,又稱國際博覽會或萬國博覽會,簡稱世博會、世博、萬博,是一個具國際規模的集會。

       

      12. to flip a switch 引發轉變。

       

      13. 這里的terrifying electric totem聯系前文的new idolatry 更好理解,作者認為蒙克從1889年世博會上的燈泡展品里看到了技術崇拜的影子,因此創作出《吶喊》以警示人們過度的技術崇拜會使人異化、給人帶來痛苦。

       

      14. 《吻》是奧地利象征主義畫家古斯塔夫·克里姆特創作的裝飾性壁畫,畫面中大量使用了金箔、銀箔等材料做裝飾。

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