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經濟學人: 眼前的黑不是黑(2)

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The latest attempt to plumb these depths comes from Anish Kapoor, a British- Indian artist whose work questions notions of perception. He has co-opted a revolutionary black material which, he hopes, will break completely new ground. “I’m really invested in the process of what is real and what is not real,” Mr Kapoor says. “What is an appearance? What’s a trick? What’s an illusion?”

印裔英國科學家安尼什·卡普爾對黑色進行了最新的探索,他在作品中質疑感知的概念。他還使用了一種具有革命意義的黑色物質,他希望這種物質將開闢出一個全新的領域。卡普爾表示,“我是真的全身心投入到探索過程中。探索什麼是虛實?什麼是表象?什麼是錯覺?什麼是幻想?”

The discovery in ancient Egypt, China and Rome that writing (and, later, printing) worked best when black was used on a white background gives black a special place in the pantheon of colours. But before the concoction in Europe of black ink from gall nuts (tumours that grow on trees where insects have laid eggs), real black was hard to conjure up. The early artists in France’s Lascaux caves drew crude animals and human figures with charcoal, which sometimes washed away. Most confected blacks, especially fabric dyes, produced a muddy purply-grey or brown at best.

古埃及、古代中國和古羅馬的人類發現,用黑色在白色背景上書寫(以及後來的印刷)的效果最佳,這使得黑色在色譜中佔據特殊地位。但在歐洲人使用五倍子(昆蟲在樹上產卵留下的樹瘤)配製出黑色墨水之前,人們很難想象出真正的黑色是什麼樣子的。法國早期藝術家們在拉斯科洞窟中用木炭畫出粗糙的動物和人物的畫像,但有時會被水流沖淡。大多數調製而成的黑色,尤其是織物染料的黑色,充其量只能產出渾濁的紫灰色或棕色。

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It was only when black pigments—made from coal, lampblack or even burned ivory— were successfully mixed with gum arabic or linseed oil that it became possible to create the black gloss that many European artists came to love. Caravaggio revolutionised Baroque painting with his studies of darkness; yet it was the Spaniards of a generation later, when black was the colour of high fashion, who made black painting all their own, starting with the power portraits of Diego Velázquez and the brooding figures that haunt the tall works of Francisco de Zurbaran. “Black became the colour of distinction,” Philip Ball, the author of “Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Colour”, has said. It wasn’t only a hue in its own right, artists realised, but an enlivener of other colours.

只有將用煤、燈黑、或者甚至燃燒過的象牙製成的黑色顏料與阿拉伯樹膠或亞麻籽油成功混合,才有可能創造出許多歐洲科學家喜愛的黑亮。卡拉瓦喬利用對暗色的研究革新了巴洛克繪畫;而下一代的西班牙藝術家創造出了自己的黑色繪畫,當時,黑色是高端時尚的顏色,由迭戈·韋拉斯克斯的名人肖像畫,以及弗朗西斯科·德·蘇巴朗描繪沉思人物形象的高大作品拉開序幕。《明亮的泥土:顏料發明史》的作者菲利普·鮑爾曾説:“黑色是與眾不同的顏色。”藝術家們意識到,黑色不僅是一種色調,還能使其他顏色更具活力。

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重點單詞   查看全部解釋    
gall [gɔ:l]

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n. 膽囊,膽汁,苦味,厚顏無恥 v. 煩惱,屈辱,磨傷

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illusion [i'lu:ʒən]

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n. 幻覺,錯覺,錯誤的信仰(或觀念)

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haunt [hɔ:nt]

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n. 常到的地方
vt. 常到,纏住,出沒(像

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invention [in'venʃən]

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n. 發明,發明物,虛構,虛構物

 
fabric ['fæbrik]

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n. 織物,結構,構造
vt. 構築

 
distinction [dis'tiŋkʃən]

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n. 差別,對比,區分,榮譽,優秀

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appearance [ə'piərəns]

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n. 外表,外貌,出現,出場,露面

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perception [pə'sepʃən]

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n. 感知,認識,觀念

 
ivory ['aivəri]

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n. 象牙,乳白色
adj. 象牙制的,

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administration [əd.mini'streiʃən]

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n. 行政,管理,行政部門

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