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Document Type

Article

Abstract

The question of whether an artist’s use of technology to create art results in a detectable aesthetic difference was investigated in the case of Dutch realist painter Johannes Vermeer and his use of the camera obscura. In Experiment 1, participants evaluated 20 Vermeer paintings on 6 aesthetic dimensions and preferred paintings created with the aid of the camera obscura. In Experiment 2, participants evaluated 4 Vermeer paintings on 6 aesthetic dimensions after they either read about camera obscura technology or read in general about methods of creating art in the Dutch realist school of painting. Knowledge of technology use did not affect aesthetic evaluation. In Vermeer’s case, technology was used to enhance rather than substitute for artistic talent and did not decrease but rather enhanced the viewer’s aesthetic experience.

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