The painting of music - the music of painting : the relationships between music and painting, with special reference to Kupka and my personal practice
This thesis seeks to examine, through a combination of practical and theoretical research, some
of the chief implications or consequences of the point of view asserted by Walter Pater, in his
1877 essay on the School of Giorgione that All art aspires to the condition of music'. Both the
practical and theoretical aspects are based on the postulate that it is indeed fruitful to consider to
what extent, or if, relationships can be posited between the practices of painting and music. The
personal work consists of a painted frieze with music by J. S. Bach as the generative subject
matter. The written part initially establishes a broad but selective historical overview of key
issues concerning the relationship of the visual language of painting to that of music.
Subsequently, related sketches and studies by Frantisek Kupka, which resulted in the first
purely abstract painting to be recorded as being exhibited in Paris in 1912, are analysed and
arranged in order to clarify the thinking and stylistic development behind his creative process.
These are placed within their historical context and are seen to reflect the general artistic
concerns and technological developments that affected practising artists of the day.
Examination of further congruent examples of paintings by Duncan Grant and Paul Klee serves
as an appropriate link to an investigation of my own practical work.
Key aspects of my intentions and achievements, and arguments for and against the validity of
the overarching idea of the thesis, i. e. that it is possible to posit the sort of relationship between
the language of music and painting that can withstand thorough analysis, form the basis of the
concluding critical analysis and annotations.
The thesis will be produced in conjunction with an exhibition of the practical work, and
providing copyright matters are not infringed, a tape provided for purposes of examination.