Discovering Da Vinci Daily: Day 11: Pareidolia - Stains on a Wall




A Way to increase and bring out the genius in some of the inventions:


“I will not forget to insert into these rules, a new theoretical invention for knowledge’s sake, which, ,although it seems of little import and good for a laugh, is nonetheless, of great utility in bringing out the creativity in some of these inventions. This is the case if you cast your glance on any walls dirty with such stains or walls made up of rock formations of different types. If you have to invent some scenes, you will be able to discover them there in diverse forms, in diverse landscapes, adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, extensive plains, valleys, and hills. You can even see different battle scenes and movements made up of unusual figures, faces with strange expressions, and myriad things which you can transform into a complete and proper form constituting part of similar walls and rocks. These are like the sound of bells, in whose tolling, you hear names and words that your imagination conjures up."


This is probably one of the first explanation of
 "Pareidolia: is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant, a form of apophenia. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse."


What is interesting about this quote is that seeing things in clouds or randomly on rocks (Nature) vs. seeing things in a painting (man-made) are very different things. If you are seeing things in a painting it's very possible that it was painted intentionally. It becomes even more obvious when the artist is aware of this psychological phenomena and uses it in their art. You could think of it like a "where's waldo" but instead of where he is, it's "What's waldo."





Giuseppe Arcimboldo - The Jurist 1566



How many different animals/ things/ can you find in the sketch below? Bonus points: Print it off and trace over them.
 
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