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Re: Re: VMs: Viola tricolor
======= At 2004-05-24, 17:52:00 you wrote: =======
>The image on f9v is hopelessly wrong for a pansy.
>The leaf shapes are wrong, the nodal stalkless leaflets are not shown,
>the flower stems should not have any leaves at all, the sequential
>arrangement of flower stems off the main stem is not shown, the flowers
>are incorrect (upside down but also distorted), the emergence of
>multiple stems from the base is not shown.
Well, it is not a pansy, we all agree - but was it supposed to be a pansy? If not, all comparison is
simply meaningless. Again, it seems that we are confusing his painting skill with bad observation
- painting antitalent is expressed differently, he certainly would not put leaves on stems if he
did not see them there :-). Unless he did not see them - or did not see the plant at all.
Drawing so many plants, he surely knew that he has to be rather accurate. It's the differences which
counts, otherwise the pictures would look all alike, say the leaves would be on all stems - and they
definitely do not. What you are saying is that he was also a bad botanist, because what you mention
are the main distinguishing signs, the main points for recognition. If he could not draw what he
saw accurately, he would never find those plants himself :-).
>Like so much about the MS it encourages interpretation; but knowledge
>of plants suggests that the interpretable images are way off the mark
>in terms of realism.
Agreed. If it is a realism - for instance we cannot possibly call Picasso unskilled painter,
just because he was a cubist. Since we call that part of the VM a herbal, we are pre-conditioned to
expect exactly that. But maybe it is only supposed to look like herbal? Then our call for reality
is missing the point.
>And, as I pointed out on this list before, wrong
>identification could be life threatening - so why would anyone
>purposefully produce poor drawings?
You cannot poison somebody by the plant which does not exist :-). And as for confusion: even the
best pictures in herbals can confuse somebody who is not a skilled botanist. Let's make your
question more general: why would he produce poor drawings at all? If he was a botanist, he should
have already known from his experience that his pictures were hopeless, so why bother to draw them
at all? If he wasn't a botanist - how would he collect those plants first place, especially if
his observation was so bad? On the other hand, there are two good reasons to make such bad
pictures purposefully: either there is some hidden information in them OR it was a fraud to start
with. Then the quality or accuracy of the pictures is superfluous. That is my point.
>I still suspect it is the case that the drawings are bad because the
>artist was incompetent and did not care about veracity because it did
>not matter. Plausibility was all that mattered - and that we seem to
>have in spades (hence the wild/wide/multifarious interpretations we all
>put on it).
Let's call a spade a spade: for herbal, the pictures were hopeless, meaningless. But for a fraud,
they were plausible enough and their quality or accuracy did not matter at all. Neither it
mattered if they were used only for the purpose of steganography or something similar.
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