Luke Clossey

Published On


Page Range

pp. 411–474


  • English

Print Length

64 pages

15. Art and the Plain Ken

  • Luke Clossey (author)
The second of three art chapters considers the western Renaissance of the visual arts in terms of the development of plain-ken attitudes towards depiction. These artists took a series of conventions rooted in an instant of time and deemed them as normative. They appreciated that the immediately sensible world was experienced first one moment, then the next, and was full of ugly imperfections. Beyond linear perspective, their techniques included conspicuous imperfections, illusionistic shadows, dramatic compositions, historicist renderings of setting, and the quotation of images. We consider the self-identity of artists, as well as their models and techniques, and informal post-production work, such as image owners blacking or cutting out undesired details.


Luke Clossey

Associate Professor of Global History at Simon Fraser University

Luke Clossey is an associate professor of global history at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. His first book, Salvation and Globalization in the Early Jesuit Missions (Cambridge UP, 2008), won the Canadian Historical Association's Ferguson Prize for best work of non-Canadian history; a chapter from it won a paper prize from the World History Association. His writings on global religion, the history of ideas, and history methodology have appeared in the Journal of World History, the Journal of Global History, the Journal of Early Modern History, the Sixteenth Century Journal, Global History Review 全球史评 论 , History Compass, the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature, and The Cambridge World History.