The Problem of the Work of Art

In Jean-Paul Sartre’s The Imaginary: A Phenomenological Psychology of the Imagination

The Portrait of Charles VIII by Jean Perréal

Merely looking at this portrait, we understand that king Charles VIII is an object, but it is not the same object as the painting, the canvas, and the actual layers of paint used for this painting. So when we contemplate what constitutes this painting separately namely the frame and the canvas, the main aesthetic object which is ‘king Charles VIII’ won’t emerge in our contemplation. According to Sartre, this image of king Charles VIII is not hidden, but the reason for its disappearance is that the consciousness is not fully aware of this image. So this image will reappear at the moment when consciousness is carrying out its work of imagination. The rationale for this occurrence, as stated by Sartre, is that one cannot see and contemplate both the image of King Charles VIII and the other things that constitute that painting simultaneously. In other words, the intentional act that apprehends the image as being king Charles VIII is sufficient in itself, it is complete and exclusive of the intentional act that grasps the frame, the canvas, and the layers of paints used for this painting.

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One Summer in Limerick

One Summer in Limerick

When loneliness
and the homesickness
fades away into the ether

Shannon decant
its fluid gently
into the Atlantic Ocean

The reflection
of the quays are well
visible on its smooth surface

Then the peaceful
riverbank walk gives
a scenic backdrop at sunset

The Sleeping Nymph

The title, brief, and location of the art piece
The above marble sculpture named the ‘Sleeping Nymph’ was made by Edward Hodges Baily. The Sleeping Nymph is a beautiful marble sculpture of a female figure which lay down on its side at the entrance of the Plassey House in the University of Limerick. Baily was a famous English sculptor and he was the acknowledged master of ideal and poetic sculptures, he made few different nymph sculptures during his artistic career, but the Sleeping Nymph marble sculpture is spectacular. The sleeping nymph is a motif that entered European art during the renaissance era, and there are speculations that this motif emanated from the ancient Romans. The motif was the idea of a statue of a nymph sleeping in a grotto, near a spring, or a river. Also, there are poems written allegedly describing a nymph sleeping near the fountain, and this motif became influential among artists and poets during the renaissance era.

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