Art: Through Uncorrected Eyes

If the world's great artists had had better eyesight, would they have'painted differently? In a lecture at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts, an ophthalmic surgeon last week asked the old question, made his answer—yes—and offered a new kind of evidence.

Patrick Dacre Trevor-Roper,* a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, was well aware that ever since 19th century critics dubbed El Greco an "astigmatic lunatic" the sight defect thesis had often been offered. But Trevor-Roper's research was carefully prepared. Flashing a slide projection of El Greco's famed Portrait of the Grand Inquisitor Don...

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