A still life is really a moving life: The role of mirror neurons and empathy in animating aesthetic response
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Aesthetic Education 44 (2):pp. 31-39 (2010)
In the Western aesthetic canon, the still life enjoys a certain prestige; its place in the museum and on the pages of the art history text is secure. Art aficionados who appreciate the character of Cezanne's apples help to ensure the lofty standing of the still life, as do students who admire the dewdrops still glistening on flowers picked and painted in the nineteenth century. For some students, however, it is difficult to understand such veneration. Despite the coaxing of dedicated art or museum educators, these students find apples nestled among drapery folds or translucent petals in a spring bouquet to be "boring." No matter how compelling the apples, how exquisitely rendered the blossoms, the still life is ..
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