Memory in Art
Memory in Art
History and the Neuroscience of Response
This chapter focuses on Rogier van der Weyden's Descent from the Cross, one of the great masterpieces of fifteenth-century Flemish painting. The work poses a large number of difficult questions about the nature and varieties of memory—particularly, that the question of memory cannot be considered outside the modulating or even preemptive effects of direct or unmediated and indirect or mediated responses to such a work. By “direct and indirect” or “unmediated and mediated,” the chapter here refers to the dialectic between responses that seem to be automatic and predicated on immediate or felt bodily responses, on the one hand, and those that are mediated by concept, reflection, and recollection, on the other. The broader context for this chapter is provided by recent developments in the neuroscience of the bodily consequences of sight of movement and emotion.
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