I was having a discussion the other day about the transition from Academic/Salon style painting into Impressionism. This reminded me of Hockney’s theory of lenses, <digress>though I differ a bit (actually a lot) with his other views on art, he does present a very strong argument in “Secret Knowledge: rediscovering the lost technology of the old masters”</digress>. His investigative technique then got me into the idea of juxteposed images, either by time or subject matter.
When an image is placed against another image, perhaps I mean a piece of art against another piece of art, there appears to be a sympathetic vibration set up that causes each piece to resonate on a common frequency.
Put Manet’s “Olympia” next to Ingres “Odalisque and Slave” (not “La Grande Odalisque”). Try Picasso’s “Family of Saltimbanques, 1905” with William Hogarth’s “The Western Family” and Renoir’s “The Luncheon of the Boating Party”. What do you think?