Collapsing Time


CHAPTER 3: Collapsing Time

Narrative paintings often combine scenes from multiple moments of the depicted story, rather than provide a snapshot of a single moment. Visual clues that evoke episodes from before and after the main event are mixed into the scene. Sometimes figures appear more than once in different parts of the picture to suggest the sequence of events.

Image credit:
Abraham van Beyeren
A Roemer with Grapes, a Pewter Plate, and a Roll, 17th century (detail)
Oil on wood panel
The Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin
Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1984

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