(German, b. 1954)
Chromogenic print face-mounted to acrylic
Image: 182 x 230.5 cm (71 5/8 x 90 3/4 in.)
Louis D. Kacalieff, M.D. Fund 1996.13
© Thomas Struth
In 1989, Thomas Struth began a remarkable series of large-scale color photographs of people visiting art museums around the world. He recorded people looking at art—a common, yet difficult-to-describe activity that combines aesthetics, education, and entertainment. Taken in the summer of 1995 in Venice, on a four-day shoot that produced 60 negatives, this immense photograph depicts the interior of the church of San Zaccaria (originally designed by Antonio di Marco Gambello in the Gothic style and completed in the later 15th century by Maruo Coducci in the Renaissance style). Struth set up his camera at eye level, focusing directly on Giovanni Bellini's magnificent altarpiece of 1505, "The Virgin and Child with Saints Peter, Catherine, Lucy, and Jerome." He then captured on film the poses and attitudes of visitors contemplating the artistic embellishments of a building intended not as a museum, but as a place of worship.
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