• The major reason for singling out Cezanne is a more philosophical one, what Merleau-Ponty took to be the phenomenological work with paint done by this artist. Merleau-Ponty uses the phenomenological language he learned from Husserl to describe Cezanne’s realistic efforts to “paint from nature” but without using the Renaissance techniques of linear perspective and outline.
  • “Cezanne’s Doubt” draws our attention to the standing of the artist and artwork in relation to the visible world. We find only passing reference regarding the artwork as a cultural object in relation to the viewer, institutions, or history, developing anything like a phenomenology of aesthetic appreciation and criticism.
  • According to Galen Johnson, We can now draw together the main contours in the topography of Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of painting as they appear in “Cezanne’s Doubt.” They include: (1) the bracketing of the scientific assumptions of the natural attitude regarding what the world should look like; (2) emphasis on the lived perspective as the visible world arises in relation to our living body, not a univocal, planimetric perspective; (3) the return of the meaning of painterly work to the gesturing and speaking subject; (4) the primacy of the solidity and constancy of the secondary, lived qualities of the visible world, especially color and tangibility; (5) a theory of artistic creation as the fusion of self and world, not imitation of the world as object by painter as subject, nor a subjective projection of the world by the artist’s imagination; and (6) defense of a nonreductionist view of the overdetermined richness of meaning in an artwork.
Posted by:Liyang DING

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