Sunday, April 23, 2017

Fr. Benedict Ashley on the Difference between Imitation in Art and Photographic Copies

An imitation, therefore, is just the opposite of a photographic copy. The photograph is the unselective reproduction of the mere appearance of a thing. An imitation is the selection of a significant form, of those appearances which reveal the nature or essence of something. A photograph is made by a machine that is without intelligence. An imitation is the work of an intelligent man who sees through the accidents to the substantial reality of things and produces a sign that enables us to do the same. That is why a melody, [258] or an abstract painting, can be a true imitation, although they are far from a mechanical reproduction of anything. Between the melody or the design and the emotion which they imitate, there is a real similarity, a selective and interpretative likeness of movement and pattern existing in utterly different materials.


Source: Fr. Benedict M. Ashley, The Arts of Learning and Communication: A Handbook of the Liberal Arts (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2009), 257–258.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments ad hominem or deemed offensive by the moderator will be subject to immediate deletion.