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Imaginatively Experiencing Paintings and Persons


This essay investigates the special way in which a spectator might engage imaginatively with one work of art when the work is experienced in light of other works by the same artist. In particular, it addresses the idea that we might imaginatively identify with an unrepresented spectator in the picture after we have experienced others in which the same artist invites us to imaginatively identify with a represented spectator in the picture. The essay suggests that experiencing an artist's oeuvre in this way might have a broader educational application for our practical lives: learning to experience one painting in light of another might enable us to acquire new, imaginative ways of engaging with another agent's actions in light of our earlier experience of the agent's actions.

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