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Re: VMs: The Painter and the Retoucher

Hi everyone,

At 00:14 19/07/2004 -0700, Rene Zandbergen wrote:
Let's not forget that there was this old argument:
- since the text shows no corrections, one could
  argue that the contents are not meaningful.

The 'no corrections' statement is now obsolete (...)

It's not certain at this stage whether the Retoucher's intention is to correct errors or to clarify text. IIRC, there *are* a few obvious corrections in the VMs, a number of which have been mentioned on-list in the past - perhaps a good task would be for someone to track these down in the list archives, and to cut and paste them from the sidfiles onto a single page (much like my work-in-progress month page).

As a methodological point, the more "longitudinal" studies of the VMs like this we can devise and execute, I think the more we'll understand the whole object. :-)

(...) but what we see is not necessarily evidence for
a meaningful content.

Absolutely true - but I think it does all start to make clear what happened to the VMs over the centuries... and hence should help us predict what the VMs most likely originally looked like, which I contend should be our real starting point.

I am not so sure that the 'retoucher' is necessarily
a different person than the original scribe,
nor that there was only one :-/

Perhaps a better analogy might be that we are uncovering various parts being played within a drama, though we remain uncertain of how many actors were actually employed, and when. :-)

For me, the initial question is whether we can demonstrate whether any of the labels the Heavy Painter painted over had already been retouched by the Retoucher... something to think about!

The more we understand the layers, the more it seems to me that a physical examination of the VMs (using, for example, Raman spectroscopy, as mentioned on-list several times) might now be able to help us physically "separate" those layers. But perhaps we should carry on looking for a while first, to see what other subtle wonders we can find hidden in the sidfiles! :-)

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

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