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The Agony and the Ecstasy

Posted by SR on January 12, 2005

In Reply to: Truth is closer to a sculpture than a painting posted by Ward on January 12, 2005

: This expression, 'truth is closer to a sculpture than a painting' is one I've heard occasionally over the years. I believe I heard it first in a long ago Philosophy class. Anyone know an origin?

Ward, I found this from Irving Stone...

"But you have to agree that the work of art becomes noble in the degree to which it represents the truth. Then sculpture will come closer to true form, for when you work the marble the figure emerges on all four side . . . . His words usually so sparse, spilled over each other; the painter laid his paint on the surface and by use of perspective tried to persuade people that they were seeing the whole of a scene. But just try to talk around a person in a painting, or around a tree! It was an illusion, a magician's trick. Now the sculptor, Ah! He carved the full reality. That is why sculpture bore the same relationship to painting that truth did to falsehood. And if a painter blundered, what did he do? He patched and repaired and covered over with another lay of paint. The sculptor on the contrary had to see within the marble the form that it held. He could not glue back broken parts. That was why there were no more sculptors today, because it took a thousand times more accuracy of judgment and vision. --Irving Stone, The Agony and the Ecstasy

SR