Art-historical accounts of the last 200 years identify developments in the types, or “modes,” of address that a picture can present to a viewer as critical to the experience and evaluation of paintings. The authors focus on “anti-theatrical” theories of pictorial address and the complex and innovative “double relation” of absorption and acknowledgment introduced by the painter Edouard Manet. They report a case study of Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergère investigating expert and novice spectators' eye movements and utterances in response to the painting to find evidence that viewers seek resolution of the complex “double relation” that the theories describe.

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