Introduction: Representational Thinking



This watercolor by Winslow Homer is an example of representational thinking. When people look at this picture, they think of real trout leaping in a stream.

It is a long way from the Lamb of God in the Middle Ages to these trout in ninteenth-century America.

Representational thinking is the characteristic way of thinking in the Modern Period, from portrait and landscape painting to physics and chemistry to biology and botany. This period began in the 1600s. We still live in it today.

Winslow Homer, Leaping Trout, c.1892, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston