Quotation by Edmund Burke Feldman

Now the hand-painted image of a person is costly because the time of a well-trained artist is required to make it. The time spent by the painter is time spent seeing as well as making. Literally thousands of separate perceptions must be consolidated into a single image by the portrait painter. Even where the style is naturalistic and the technique meticulous, the necessary process of amalgamation entails synthesis, generalization, exag geration, and simplification. Hence, much as we admire the painter's craft, we know that it changes optical data. The invention and perfection of photography has taught us to see how painters change what they see. Oddly enough, we are less conscious of the fact that the camera also changes reality. Beyond that, most of us do not realize how much the photographer manipulates what the camera sees because we have been thoroughly conditioned to believe in the photographer's—as opposed to the painter's—mode of representing reality. For practical purposes this means that we regard photographic imagery as truthful while painterly imagery is viewed, at best, as poetic.
Edmund Burke Feldman (b. 1924), U.S. art critic, educator. Varieties of Visual Experience, 2nd edition, ch. 14, Abrams (1981).
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