• Novotny’s seminal book was trying to delineate the particular effect of Cezanne’s work: “altering the objective appearance of the represented portion of the landscape without making deviations from natural linear perspective”, or the reduction of spatial depth in the representation. In Cezanne’s landscape paintings, we often find a kind of “hesitation in the movement of the perspectival lines… precisely because of the absence of small tensions and differentiations that, even with smaller changes in depth, bring about or support the pull of perspectival depth.”
  • The means are : (1) the avoidance of the low point of view (inconsistency of vantage points, or an odd indifference toward the demands of exact perspective that exist for just such a situation) ; (2) reduce the contrast and the pull of depth (weakening perspectival emphasis; and (3) choose a “smaller” sectional size of the distant landscape (sinking the picture’s foreground)
  • Cezanne’s intention to making “indifferent” appearance is, according to Novotny, “ exclude the depiction of subjective emotional content that is usually imposed by the effectiveness of scientific perspective.” Further, Novotny pointed out what Cezanne was depicting was “the way of seeing”: “the character of schematic simplification of perspective in Cezanne’s painting is so closely linked to the fundamental content of his representational mode that it cannot be thought of as merely as a schema… rather, all the forms of reduction and simplification of objective reality are determined by a mode of seeing directed at the elemental spatial and objective form of the landscape. These devices make it possible for the artist to translate this way of seeing into pictorial form without resorting to the abstract invention of form.” Similarly, In the realm of architecture, the mode of architectural creation largely relies on our spatial consciousness, that is, spatiality because space is the evidence of the “we are there.” (situated) Orientation, situation, envelopment are, in space, derived phenomena inextricably bound to my own presence in the world. According to Novotny, Cezanne’s painting plays a role as one of a range of devices that “makes it possible for the artist to translate this way of seeing into pictorial form without resorting to the abstract invention to form.” (422)
Posted by:Liyang DING

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