PUBLIC LECTURE: The Blush of the World: Bonnardís Nudes and the Disembodied Look
|The Blush of the World: Bonnardís Nudes and the Disembodied Look
The Blush of the World:
Bonnardís Nudes and the Disembodied Look
This lecture sets out to provide a framework within which one might begin to look at Bonnardís canvasses depicting his wife, Marthe, in the rituals of washing and bathing. It suggests that the most common way of understanding Bonnardís depiction of his wifeís face Ė in Ďcontre jourí or shadow Ė fails to attend to something more obviously somatic: the blush. de Bolla will argue that Bonnard was deeply immersed in a looking technique that was implicated in the world. In effect the sighted viewer is placed in a reciprocal optical relationship with the object seen. When one begins to look with Bonnard the world feels the presence and pressure of our looking and Bonnardís depictions ask us to acknowledge that. This lecture is part of a longer project on Bonnard and in the time for discussion and conversation de Bolla hopes to introduce some of its other themes and interests.
Peter de Bolla is Professor of Cultural History and Aesthetics at the University of Cambridge where he took both his BA and doctorate. He taught for five years in the English Department at the University of Geneva before returning to Cambridge in 1986. He is the author of six monographs including The Discourse of the Sublime: Readings in History, Aesthetics and the Subject (Basil Blackwell, 1989), The Education of the Eye: Painting, Landscape, and Architecture in Eighteenth-Century England (Stanford University Press, 2003), Art Matters (Harvard University Press, 2001) and the forthcoming The Architecture of Concepts: the Historical Formation of Human Rights (Fordham University Press, 2013).
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