[no subject]

Subject: Re: Do Maya pictures correspond to they way they actually


>Perhaps we've had enough of "wheels" for a while, and Burglin's and
>Anderson's latest comments on how the Maya pictured their calendars in
>the codices opens up new possibilities for our attempts to get inside the
>ancient Maya mind. The question I pose is: when the Maya drew pictures
>of, say, the world tree, the sky serpent, the quatreform universe, is
>this the way they "really" saw things? If they believed in a cyclic
>calendar but then didn't image it as a circle, isn't this peculiar? I
>have spent the past thirty years examining just this question in regard
>to medieval and Renaissance Western art in relation to science and
>technology. I'm not just talking about "high art" by the way, but also
>working drawings, building models, technical diagrams, maps, pictures of
>any kind,etc. In respect to the "Western view" this issue is crucial
>because we do now make pictures that conform to physical reality. Before
>the Renaissance, I maintain, we did not, nor do I believe did the ancient
>Maya (are there any other art historians out there in Cyberspace who
>will challenge this?) I'd like to toss out now a number of
>relevant statements that I consider as defining "realism." In fact, they
>represent the state of my research on the matter for the past three
>decades, yet I'd love it if someone had an example that not only proved
>my statement wrong, but also showed that the Maya were actually doing it.

>1)Before the Renaissance in Europe, no culture anywhere ever
>employed geometric linear perspective in their art (where the convergent
>vanishing point in the picture corresponds with the implicit viewpoint of
>artist and/or observer).

>2)Before the Renaissance in Europe, no culture anywhere ever used either
>scale drawings or models for building structures or machines (by scale, I
>mean consistent arithmetic relationships like 1/4 inch = 1 foot
>throughout; a full-size template is not a scale model).

>3)Before the Renaissance in Europe, no culture (except the ancient Greeks
>and Romans) ever used shade-and-shadow (chiaroscuro) rendering in their
>pictures (I've looked closely at Maya painting where artists often left a
>light edge near the outline, and decided that it's not chiaroscuro because
>has no relation to any implicit light source).

>4)Before the Renaissance in Europe, no culture developed an effective
>convention for rendering on a two-dimensional surface, the illusion of a
>three-dimensional sphere (without confusing it with a simple flat
>circle).This latter point is extremely important when when considering
>whether or not ancient peoples really understood the cosmos as being in
>the form of a sphere, or better how they "envisioned" it in their mind's

>Finally, a question. Before Renaissance perspective, photography, movies,
>TV, what did pre-Renaissance people - the Maya - "see" in their
>imagination when they closed their eyes and thought about god?
>Sam Edgerton
Partial thread listing: