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Re: VMs: The Painter and the Retoucher

Hi everyone,

At 05:43 18/07/2004 -0300, Jorge Stolfi wrote:
After looking at a couple dozen pages in close-up, my impression is
that the Retoucher went through most of the manuscript, carefully but
rather mechanically retracing many drawing strokes and letters -- on
some pages, almost all of the text.

In some cases it seems that he was not quite sure of what letter he
was retracing. In some cases he may have misunderstood the drawing.
For instance, check the leftmost nymph at the top of page f73v
(Sagittarius). The Retoucher apparently mistook the bottom edge of the
nymph's leg for the top edge of a "barrel", and provided the rest
of the barrel -- presumably thinking that it had faded out completely.
Ditto for the next nyph. Presumably he then noticed the mistake
and so left the barrels unfinished.

Bravo, Jorge! Yet another silent player is discovered lurking within the mise-en-scene! :-)

IMO, the most important issue would be to order the Retoucher's layer of changes - specifically, did the Retoucher pre-date or post-date the Heavy Painter? What would evidence to validate or falsify either of these positions need to look like?

My impression is that (1) he was someone who valued the book quite a
lot and spent a long time on it; and (2) he did not understand it.
Beresch, perhaps?

Could be, could be... examples of Baresch's handwriting might also prove to be examples of the ink he used, so this idea might ultimately be testable via physical evidence. But it's still a long shot for the moment. :-)

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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