Monday, May 5, 2008

quality and art: hype, fiction, pirsig & page rank

many things. many things i've been thinking, about quality. quality being half of my current life motto, the other half being love. (is there any real difference between the two? spiritual love can be seen as quality in human relations, quality can be seen as love of what is good. but what is good? what is spiritual love?)

this weekend i visited the rijksmuseum in amsterdam. took my children there to see some art treasures, only to find...that even on a personal level i cannot consistently experience let alone define quality.

the paintings that i was especially looking forward to enjoy: rembrandt's de staalmeesters and the jewish bride and the milkmaid by johannes vermeer. in de staalmeesters i was happy to find once more my admiration for the red tablecloth: a true and wonderful abstract painting hidden in a group portrait. but the jewish bride left me less thrilled than on earlier visits. and the milkmaid didn't hardly touch me at all.

rembrandt, de staalmeestersrembrandt, de staalmeesters

a self-portrait by rembrandt on the other hand i enjoyed for something perhaps strange; it gave me the following feeling: a man looks at me, knowing i will look at him-on-canvas when he is long gone and also knowing that he is a master far ahead of his contemporaries - not per se in skill alone, but especially in vision, in artistic feeling and experiencing reality, and therefore also in rendering reality - and knowing that i will appreciate this where most of his contemporaries lack the necessary depth of development of visual/philosophical issues.

rembrandt, self-portrait as the apostle paulrembrandt, self-portrait as the apostle paul

ok, i've hardly begun touching on what i want to say, but this post is long enough, will be continued.

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