Lazy Eyes and Great Art

Did you know Rembrandt probably had a lazy eye?I’ve seen bits about this online, and been reminded of it a few times by different people, but it’s still blogworthy:

Having less-than-perfect vision may be the secret of being a great artist, scientists have revealed. A team from Harvard Medical School say the Dutch master Rembrandt may have had a “lazy eye”. The scientists analysed his self-portraits and found one eye looked straight ahead, while the other looked outward. Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, they say this may have helped him perceive the world as a flat image.

Damn, I never should have given up sketching. For I, too, have a lazy eye, and one that was, before corrective surgery to the muscles that control it, far lazier than Rembrandt’s. Ah well… I could always take it up again in old age, I suppose. I wonder, though, whether many other artists had this condition. It may just be one man; I mean, Oscar Wilde isn’t proof that an inclination to homosexuality makes one a better writer, even if it does cause him to watch people closely and pay attention to the social world around him more than those who are less different. It’s not as if the drummer from Def Leppard having only one arm proves that the fewer limbs you are, the better with percussion you’ll be. Okay, that last example sucks. But you get my drift.

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