Role of technique in picture making

Arthur Miller


The "what" of a great painting is an enigmatic term used to describe an equally enigmatic concept. The "what" of a painting, its "content" its "word," or --to be less concise and a bit banal --the "message of the painting" has been dealt with, described, and defined in various ways by art historians and charlatans since people have become interested in talking about art in an academic fashion. To the serious student of art history, to the person who finds some value in talking about the beauty in concrete art in an abstract manner, to the person who realizes the limitations of using a verbal semiotic to describe a visual semiotic, certain methods of discussing the value in a great painting should be subjected to some critical examination.