Scientists reveal the secret of the big red parrot in Rubens’ 400-year-old masterpiece 01:11

American scientists from the New York Institute of Technology have revealed the trick used by the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens when creating the painting “The Fall of Man, Adam and Eve” in 1629. The study was published in the scientific journal broadcasting Vision Magazine (JOV).

The work is based on a biblical story and depicts the moment when Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden. The original version of the painting was painted by the Italian artist Titian in the 16th century. Nearly 100 years later, Rubens recreated Titian’s work, adding new details. For example, a large red parrot appeared on the canvas, which Titian did not have.
According to the researchers’ findings, the bright bird allowed Rubens to manipulate the viewer’s gaze by directing it towards Eve, the main character of the composition.

The scientists’ findings were confirmed during experiments in which a group of volunteers were shown digital versions of the masterpiece. The parrot was present in some copies, and in others it was removed by processing. Participants’ eye movements and gaze directions were recorded with a camera.

It turned out that observers looked more carefully at Eve’s face when the parrot was present, while when the bird was not present, their attention wandered all over the canvas.

Researchers concluded that Rubens placed the parrot in the picture not only as a decorative or symbolic element, but also in order to direct the viewer’s visual attention, to enhance the impression of the main character of the work.

The authors of the study added that the Flemish master’s trick could be useful for modern marketers and designers.

Previous scientists I learnedThe 16th-century German artist Holbein embellished the look in portraits of his clients.

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Source: Gazeta


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