Realisation-from Seeing to Understanding: The Origins of Art by Julian Spalding PDF

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By Julian Spalding

ISBN-10: 1908524456

ISBN-13: 9781908524454

Our global view has replaced from a flat earth less than the dome of heaven to a planet spinning within the universe. We perceived the realm as a physique, like ours, then as a tree, a pyramid, an altar, and eventually as a veil which turned a window by which we peered simply to find ourselves on a sphere, a bubble which would burst at any second. Our altering perspectives are interpreted via iconic photographs of the distant and newer prior: the Venus of Willendorf, the Pyramids, Stonehenge, the Taj Mahal, the Scream, Sydney Opera residence, and the Guggenheim, Bilbao.

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They were by far the largest, tallest and oldest living things. Trees were centred, symmetrical and immobile, like the universe. You could trace these in the veins on the back of your hand and see them splayed across every leaf. The tiny seed had the tree hidden within it; the small contained the great. We were linked to the tree of life. Trees stood erect as we humans did, alone among the four-legged animals of the earth. Sap ran through the bodies of trees like blood, and they bled if their bark was cut.

As we ploughed, sowed and harvested, we began to realise that we were different from all other creatures in a fundamental way. Our World Tree changed from being a wild contorted giant in the jungle into a stately presence, trimmed and orderly, growing in a garden. This tree of life grew in the centre of paradise in China and in the Garden of Eden in the Bible, and its fruit rendered anyone who ate it immortal. The main duty of life was to pass life on, to keep the flame burning. The Tree of Life was eternal.

They had souls that linked them to god, and were cut off from this world. Midas, the legendary king of Phrygia, tied the ox cart of his father Gordias to his palace gate, proclaiming his humble inheritance and undying bondage to the soil with a knot that was too convoluted to untie. Elaborate designs showing the contorted, continuous thread of the Gordian knot decorated Roman pavements and early Christian illuminated manuscripts and continued to exercise the mind of Leonardo da Vinci in the fifteenth century.

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Realisation-from Seeing to Understanding: The Origins of Art by Julian Spalding

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