Have you ever had a painting which was improved by slicing a piece off?
Does everyone indulge in a little secret 'lopping off'? Is it an artist's dirty little secret? Does it ever work?
Perhaps, if there were a respectable name for it, like 'Post-painting compositional re-adjustment' or maybe something artsy in french or italian it wouldn't have to be a clandestine practice. I think it has a noble history and many paintings have been edited or even extended by additional lengths of canvas sewn on in a radical revision of the original composition. I watched a programme about Watteau which showed his famous portrait, 'Gilles', for years assumed tantalisingly off-centre, had been trimmed, but whether by the artist or subsequent owners is unknown. Like Rembrandt's ' The Night Watch' , or the amputated Venus de Milo, we only know Watteau's impenetrable masterpiece, 'Gilles' from today's truncated version.
Do you always stay true to your first vision and design, or is the trimming-knife or hand-saw numbered among your most important painter's kit?
If it hasn't already got one, it should have a name...
Suggestions and Confessions welcome.
Modifica Pittura ? Not guilty except in Photoshop.
Incidentally, the Watteau painting shown above was discovered in a junk shop where it had stood for so long that the exasperated owner had written 'Buy me, I'm lonely' (in French of course) across it.