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Picturing a World

Cut-out frames

Yesterday's image of women gilders reminded me of the cut-outs I made after reading Anthea Callen’s chapter, “Framing the Debate,” in her indispensable book The Art of Impressionism: Painting Technique and the Making of Modernity. What surrounds a picture strongly affects how viewers perceive it, and photographic reproductions printed on a white page are at many removes from a three-dimensional, gold-framed painting on a wall. My cut-outs don’t add size or texture, but they do help me imagine how an illustration in a book might look surrounded by gilt instead of white. Even a device this crude can stimulate the imagination! Do any of you have similar tricks to aid your reading or inventing?
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