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Leslie Cunliffe

Subject Art
Communication Studies » Visual and Non-verbal Communication

Key-Topics painting

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Understanding the historical practices of painting is significant for communication studies because in nearly all cultures these practices embody the origins and establishment of subsequent genres of picture-making. Humans have made paintings for at least 30,000 years using three material components : pigment suspended in a medium; a surface to which the paint is applied; and tools like brushes, sticks, fingers, and hands by which the paint is transferred to the ground. In prehistoric times, paintings were applied to readymade grounds of rock surfaces. In other cases paintings have been made on grounds laid on a support, like canvas on a stretcher. Grounds can be rough or smooth, resistant or absorbent, a choice that goes hand in hand with the type of tool, usually a brush, used to apply the relative transparency, opacity, and viscosity of the paint. Brushes can be small or large, fine or coarse, features that allow for the manipulation of techniques and visual symbolic codes for the wider purpose of projecting →  meaning . The autographic or hand-held painting processes that create unique →  artifacts are always made against a broader intentional field of cultural expectations (→  Cultural Studies ). The operation of background pressures explains why paintings vary from culture to culture, from one historical period to the next within the same tradition, and between two artists ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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