Chapter 5 is “Crying Over Bluish Leaves.” It is about my own experiences in the Frick Collection, looking at Giovanni Bellini’s Ecstasy of St. Francis.
At first I had a very strong reaction to the painting, but it was diluted and finally dispersed as I read art historical accounts of the painting, and of Bellini’s cultural context. Art history is pictured here as a kind of poison well, which endangers certain kinds of responses.
The book is also in Chinese, Czech, Korean, Italian, and Farsi. See the vita for details and links.