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Blind Man's Buff in Madrid

  1. Apr 4, 2007 #1


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    I've adapted this comment from Peter Woit's blog (about the announcement
    http://gesalerico.ft.uam.es/strings07/ [Broken] for the Strings '07 conference in Madrid):

    ...the emblem on the main page of the Strings ‘07 website
    is a 1789 oil painting by Goya called THE BLIND CHICKEN
    (La Gallina Ciega) or translated into English “Blind Man’s Buff”.

    The blindfolded girl is in the center of a circle of dancers,
    who elude her attempts to connect with them.

    There is a sunset, the players are aristocrats, it is pretty but
    inexplicably melancholy.

    To get further information about the Strings ‘07 conference,
    click on individual dancers in the circle.
    http://gesalerico.ft.uam.es/strings07/ [Broken]

    To me, the blindfolded young lady in the middle of the circle looks like an allegory of M-theory, something which so far has never been seen. She is surrounded by elusive entities joined in a ring by the duality of holding each other’s hands.
    It seems to be an emblem of the Unknown M-theory surrounded by superstring possibilities.

    It's a witty conference logo, one of the cleverest and most attractive ones I've seen.

    The list of speakers at the conference is here:
    http://gesalerico.ft.uam.es/strings07/040_scientific07_contents/041_speakers.htm [Broken]
    (thanks to Peter Woit for alerting us to the site!)

    The idea of using a blindfolded aristocratic young woman as an emblem of an as yet undiscovered theory (believed to occupy the center of a circle of connected others) is remarkable!

    click on individual dancers in the circle to get further information about the conference

    a sympathetic view of string thinkers, in fact, could I guess be that they are like men trying to hit something moving with a stick, that something being a theory which they cannot see but believe is there---a groping image similar to what one sees in Goya's painting.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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  3. Apr 4, 2007 #2


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    An art historian says this about the painting
    The Blind Man's Bluff
    (La Gallina Ciega)
    Painted: 1789.

    This is the only finished cartoon of the series painted by Carlos III's commission. Customs and manners subject, and strong French influence applied to Madrid's festivals in an inspired way. The painting shows the melancholy that began to torture the painter.

    The dancers and the sunset are very beautiful but some of them stare into the viewer's eyes with a kind of sad emptiness.

    I think that Alejandro Rivero, who sometimes posts here, surely knows this painting.

    superficially it is pretty and delicate like French---like Watteau. but it is deeper.

    It is done in oil on canvas. One calls it a "cartoon" because the painting was not intended as a finished piece of art but was commissioned to be used as a model for TAPESTRY---a kind of blueprint for the weavers.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2007
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