Sunday, September 9, 2018

Motion Blur in Old Master Art

Did any artists from before the era of photography capture the effect of motion blur?

Diego Velázquez, Detail of Las Hilanderas (The Spinners)1655-1660
A good place to look are images of spinning wheels. The spokes dissolve into a blur when it really gets spinning.

Esaias Boursse, Interior with an Woman at a Spinning Wheel, 1667
Painting the spokes that way is a remarkable choice, because it means allowing the impression to  overrule the knowledge of the actual structure. Once the era of photography arrived, artists were fascinated by motion blur, but only a few have used it in their paintings.

It has shown up as a joke in this Charles Dana Gibson cartoon, and it also appears in the wildlife art of Manfred Schatz.
Previous posts that mention motion blur
Manfred Schatz: Wildlife in Action

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