english3101 - Angela Shamay Appendix A: John Berger's...

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Angela Shamay Appendix A: John Berger’s “Ways of Seeing” John Berger makes a fair point in his essay “Ways of Seeing.” He first describes a poor painter by the name of Hals. Hals was the first portraitist to paint the new characters and expressions created by capitalism. He painted a portrait of the governs and governesses. In the painting, he portrayed the capitalist class as bitter and unhappy by the gestures of their faces. This process is called mystification. Berger describes mystification as the process of explaining away what might otherwise be evident. “The bogus religiosity which now surrounds original works of art, and which is ultimately dependent upon their market value, has become the substitute for what paintings lost when the camera made them reproducible” (Berger, 688). Berger explains that in the historical past, real paintings were kept as relics in the homes of the rich and excluded from the reach of the poor. These original paintings held true value in the market. However, ever since the camera was invented, images of the
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english3101 - Angela Shamay Appendix A: John Berger's...

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