Fri 19 September 2008, The Independent

Starnina, Gherardo (attrib): Thebaid (1410)

By Tom Lubbock
It is an all-round embarrassing fact that the art of the past often only speaks to us by being misunderstood. It seems to communicate so clearly, but it does this because we've made a mistake. We've imagined that it's talking a language that it couldn't possibly be talking. And knowing that leaves us with a dilemma. Should we give up our delusory delight in old art? Or persist in the delusion, aware that's what it is?
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