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The Pensive ImageArt as a Form of Thinking$
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Hanneke Grootenboer

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780226717951

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226718002.001.0001

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Painting’s Wonder

Painting’s Wonder

(p.165) Painting’s Wonder
The Pensive Image

Hanneke Grootenboer

University of Chicago Press

Starting from the “moving image” of a tableau-mécanique or clock-painting, this concluding chapter raises the question to what extent painting invites us to true thinking. Starting with Plato’s claim that wonder is the only possible beginning of philosophy, it is shown how the visual arts, historically, were meant to trigger thought, in particular when seen in the context of cabinet collections, in Germany literally called rooms of wonder, or Wunderkammern. The wonder that artworks may evoke is compared to various concepts of wonder, from Plato, Kant, Hegel and Heidegger. The chapter concludes by stating that, as the book has demonstrated, pensive images, through their inconclusiveness and inexpressiveness, provoke wonder in us and, as such, set us off on a mental trajectory of true thinking that, ultimately, leads us to our philosophical home.

Keywords:   origin of philosophy, wonder, Wunderkammern, thaumazein, art cabinet and thought, tableau mecanique, clock painting, thinking in painting, moving images, thinking in painting

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