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Slobodan Markovic, Ana Radonjic; Aspects of painting perception. Journal of Vision 2007;7(9):198. doi: 10.1167/7.9.198.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
In this study the three aspects of paintings perception were investigated: (1) judgments of physical properties (e.g. how colorful a painting appears), (2) judgments of subjective or implicit features (e.g. how warm a painting appears) and (3) judgments of representational content (e.g. how mimetic a painting appears). The classic semantic differential methodology was used in order to specify the underlying factorial structure of judgments within these categories. In the preliminary studies, a representative set of paintings with sets of elementary dimensions (bipolar scales) from three categories were selected. Four factors of physical properties judgments were extracted: Form (precise, neat, salient form, etc.), Color (color contrast, lightness contrast, vivid colors, etc.), Space (voluminosity, spatial depth, oval contours, etc), and Complexity (multicolored, ornate, detailed, etc). Four factors of implicit features judgments were extracted: Regularity (arranged, precise, regular, etc.), Relaxation (calming, warm serene, etc), Hedonic Tone (beautiful, pleasant, healthy, etc), and Arousal (impressive, strong, interesting, etc). Four factors of judgements of “what message the artist wanted to transmit” were obtained: bipolar factor with Illusion of reality on positive pole (e.g. exact optical representation of external world) and Construction of reality on negative pole (e.g. artist experimented with colors and shapes), Subjectivism (expression of emotions, fantasies and the like), Social ideology (historical events, transmission of religious messages) and Decoration (production of beautiful and pleasant objects). The main outcome of these factor analyses is the construction of instruments for measurement of three aspects of paintings perceptual experience. Results of further correlation analyses revealed two large clusters of factors corresponding with two general artistic styles. Cluster 1 was defined as a combination of Realism and Painterly style (factors Form, Space, Regularity and Illusion of Reality) and Cluster 2 was defined as a combination of Expressionism and Painterly style (factors Color, Arousal, Constructivism and Subjectivism).
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