The sense of display is abolished. The objects are inorganic and dateless: milky long-necked bottles and squat flasks, a biscuit tin, a fluted bowl, some long-beaked metal pitchers. They carry no marks, patterns or brand names. One thinks of them not as manufactured objects but as elements in a hesitantly ideal architectural scheme. Sometimes the slender bottle necks, leaning together, vaguely recall the towers of Bologna or San Gimignano. They look fragile and contingent, but they endure for decades, through picture after picture. (To make quite sure that nothing disturbed the precise relationships he put them in, he drew chalk circles around the the bases of his “models” on the surface of the table.) Occasionally their groups, bound together by some mutual gravitation of shape, might remind one of people insecurely huddled on the edge of a small flat earth, the tabletop.
1709 J. Addison Tatler No. 108. ⁋3 They give mean Interpretations and base Motives to the worthiest Actions. 1526 Bible (Tyndale) 1 Cor. xii. 10 To won is geven the vtteraunce off wisdom..To another the interpretacion off tonges. 1387 J. Trevisa tr. R. Higden Polychron. (Rolls) VII. 153 Ȝe auȝt for to soften þe opiniouns of fonde men wiþ better interpretacioun. 1450 Mirour Saluacioun 1027 After of this dreme herd he swilk interpretacionne. 1733 G. Cheyne Eng. Malady ii. viii. 203 And so the Fever terminates in a critical Abscess. 1807 Monthly Mirror Nov. 374 Mr. Elmsly is about to publish a new critical edition of Sophocles, with a text collated from the best manuscripts and printed editions. 1753 J. Lining Let. 14 Dec. in Ess. & Observ. (Philos. Soc. Edinb.) II. 372 That fever, which continues two or three days, and terminates without any critical discharge by sweat, urine, stool, &c. 1601 P. Holland tr. Pliny Hist. World I. xvii. ii. 500 The foure decretorie or criticall daies, that give the dome of olive trees, either to good or bad. 1382 Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) Josh. Prol. If the oold oonliche interpretacioun plese to hem. 1871 J. C. Maxwell Theory of Heat vi. 124 M. Cagniard de la Tour estimated the temperature and pressure of the critical state. 1646 Sir T. Browne Pseudodoxia Epidemica vi. i. 279 Whatsoever Interpretations there have beene since, have been especially effected with reference unto..the Greeke and Hebrew text. 1447 O. Bokenham Lyvys Seyntys 44 Aftyr the reulys of interpretacyon Anne is as myche to seyn as grace. 1872 J. P. Mahaffy tr. I. Kant Prolegomena in Kant’s Crit. Philos. III. 62 I now retract it [sc. the word ‘transcendental’], and desire this idealism of mine to be called critical. 1654 R. Whitlock Ζωοτομία 186 He is not Criticall and exact in Garbes and Fashions. 1565 W. Alley Πτωχομυσεῖον To Rdr. f. 16v If these simple Prelections chaunce peraduenture to come into the handes of some scrupulous and captious criticall reader..let him know that it is a great deale more easie to carpe other mens doinges, then to giue better of his owne. 1841 J. R. Young Math Diss. Pref. 7 Even in the extreme and critical case of the problem. 1850 Morning Chron. 25 Dec. 7/4 His opinions..have weight; and we doubt not will be duly estimated by the critical and the judicious. 1719 W. L. Coll. Tunes Ded. sig. A2v/1 It has been the Fate of better Performances than this, to pass under the severe Censures of the Critical. 1909 Trans. Illuminating Engin. Soc. (U.S.) 4 717 f is the critical flicker frequency. 1899 T. O’C. Sloane Liquid Air i. 20 When a gas is at the critical temperature and at the critical pressure also, the least increase of pressure or decrease of temperature will convert it into a liquid. When in this condition, ready to be a gas or a liquid, it is said to be in the critical state. 1881 J. Russell Haigs of Bemersyde Introd. 3 It was not in his nature to be either critical or indifferent. 1605 F. Bacon Of Aduancem. Learning ii. f. 69 There remayn two Appendices touching the tradition of knowledge, The one Criticall, The other Pedanticall. 1867 E. A. Freeman Hist. Norman Conquest I. App. 617 He shows a good deal of critical acumen. 1931 Rev. Mod. Physics 3 347 Bohr’s theory was so quickly supported by the experiments on critical potentials. 1866 G. MacDonald Ann. Quiet Neighb. xi. 191 Perhaps I may have put a wrong interpretation on the passage. 1701 C. Cibber Love makes Man v. 53 Well, Madam, you see I’m punctual..I’m always critical—to a Minute. 1877 M. Oliphant Makers of Florence (ed. 2) x. 257 Things he had done which no charitable interpretation could explain away. 1869 T. H. Huxley in Sci. Opinion 21 Apr. 464/2 The knowledge..requisite for the just interpretation of geological phenomena. 1617 S. Collins Epphata to F. T. i. 5 Wil you blame me as too criticall for distinguishing betweene gerere and gestare? 1890 Church Rev. July 276 In company with most critical commentators on books of the New Testament, Bishop Ellicott has one fault. 1741 C. Middleton Hist. Life Cicero II. viii. 237 Cæsar was conversant also with the most abstruse and critical parts of learning.
1608 D. Tuvill Ess. Politicke, & Morall f. 56 Wee are bounde to give our neighbours proceedings a charitable interpretation. 1649 E. Reynolds Israels Prayer (new ed.) iv. 65 Mercies are never..so seasonable as in the very turning and criticall point. 1721 R. Bentley Proposals New Ed. Greek & Lat. Test. 44 St. Jerom..says not one Word to make us believe that he [sc. Origen] ever attempted or effected any Critical Edition of the New Testament. 1832 A. Johnson tr. W. G. Tennemann Man. Hist. Philos. iii. 405 The grand conclusion of the Critical system of Kant is this, that no object can be known to us except in proportion as it is apprehended by our perceptions, and definable by our faculties for knowledge; consequently, we know nothing per se, but only by means of its phenomena. 1870 T. Andrews in Philos. Trans. 1869 (Royal Soc.) 159 583 Below the critical temperature this distinction is easily seen to have taken place. 1878 W. Garnett Elem. Treat. Heat (ed. 2) vi. 109 In order to obtain a substance in the critical state it is necessary not only to adjust the temperature to the critical point, but also the pressure to what may be called critical pressure.
1556 R. Record Castle of Knowl. Pref. sig. a.vi Yet hee that hathe readde in Hippocrates but that one booke of Ayer, water, and Regions, and Galen his third boke of Criticall daies, can not be ignoraunte howe necessarye an instrument Astronomy is vnto Physicke. 1641 J. Jackson True Evangelical Temper i. 69 The Millenaries, a sect of learned, and criticall Christians. 1797 tr. J. S. Beck (title) The principles of critical philosophy. 1880 Athenæum 25 Dec. 876/1 The part of Cassandra..is capable of more various interpretation than that of her rival. 1775 Northampton Mercury 20 Mar. A very critical and exact Inquisition was made into the present State of his two large Chests. 1584 R. Cosin Answer to Two Fyrst & Principall Treat. sig. A5 I muse how this could so escape the criticall and Lynceus eyes of such an Aristarchus. 1916 Physical Rev. 7 687 To determine this critical potential more accurately, and..to demonstrate whether or not ionization took place there, current-potential curves were taken. 1526 Bible (Tyndale) John i. f. cxxv Thou shalt be called Cephas: which is hy [read by] interpretacion a stone. 1777 W. Waring in E. Young Night Thoughts I. 116 His observations,..tho’ severely critical, are sometimes just. 1669 J. Evelyn Kalendarium Hortense (ed. 3) 42 Acquaint them [sc. tender-plants] gradually with the Air..for this change is the most Critical of the whole year.
1552 Abp. J. Hamilton Catech. i. vii. f. 19 Ye gift of ye haly spirit, callit interpretatio sermonum, the interpretation of wordis. 1815 Crit. Rev. May 501 It contains a very fine general character of Lucretius, as a poet, written with great power of language, candid discrimination, and original strength of critical thinking. 1789 World (London) 17 Mar. In these alarming and critical cases, no time is to be lost. 1843 T. B. Macaulay (title) Critical and historical essays. 1650 Sir T. Browne Pseudodoxia Epidemica (ed. 2) ii. v. 68 Exact and criticall triall should be made..whereby determination might be setled. 1529 T. More Dialogue Heresyes i, in Wks. 141/2 In the interpretacion we may paraduenture styck, Is it not so? 1908 Jrnl. Chem. Soc. 93 1002 In the neighbourhood of the lower critical solution-point, a distinct critical opalescence was observed. 1898 Boston Post 8 Sept. 5/5 William P. Dwyer..is on the critical list, being sick with typhoid fever. 1845 A. Polson Eng. Law in Encycl. Metrop. 822/1 Our law..claims to determine the interpretation and effect of every deed or will executed here. 1840 Ann. Nat. Hist. 4 308 In the Boschetto abound..some critical species of much interest to the British botanist, as Lotus ciliatus, Tenore, a southern form of Lotus corniculatus, Ononis antiquorum, and the Lathyrus sepium of Scopoli. 1956 A. Toynbee Historian’s Approach to Relig. x. 128 Philosophies have been apt to arise in..critical-minded, disillusioned social milieux. 1829 H. Coddington Treat. Reflexion & Refract. Light ii. 47 in System of Optics I. The angle of incidence for a right angle of emergence is called the critical angle, because it separates or decides between the phænomena of reflexion and refraction. 1665 R. Boyle Occas. Refl. iii. vi. sig. R7 The more Witty and Critical sort of Auditors. 1732 G. Berkeley Alciphron II. vi. xxv. 91 He..ridiculed allegorical Interpretations. 1384 Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Royal) 2 Pet. i. 20 Ech prophecie of scripture is not maad bi propre, or owne, interpretacioun. 1673 tr. E. de Refuge Art of Complaisance 25 There is in the Court, as there is said to be in Love, one Critical minute. 1921 Times Lit. Suppl. 17 Mar. 169/2 Mr. Taylor’s quick passage from the historical to the critical is, at times, a little disconcerting. 1551 T. Wilson Rule of Reason sig. Mvv To whome the interpretation of a nowne doth agree, to the same also the nowne it selfe agreeth. 1684 tr. T. Bonet Guide Pract. Physician iii. 72 You may reckon it [sc. the Head-ach] critical, if in a Fever it fall upon a critical day. 1927 Amer. Mercury Feb. 140/1 I really think that a discussion of this matter of forgiveness of enemies, at this critical time, is inopportune. 1605 F. Bacon Of Aduancem. Learning ii. sig. Oo1 For the reall and exacte fourme of Iudgement, wee referre our selues to that which wee haue spoken of the Interpretation of Nature . View more context for this quotation 1778 Morning Post & Daily Advertiser 8 Dec. Perhaps some of your critical or poetical correspondents, may think it worth while to solve the meaning of the latter line. 1836 U.S. Med. & Surg. Jrnl. Aug. 10/2 The critical days were also called judicial, or indicating days. 1898 Rep. 67th Meeting Brit. Assoc. Advancem. Sci. 1897 575 The chief advantages of the instrument are the low self-induction and resistance, as well as the critical damping. 1808 W. Herschel in Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 99 268 The angles at which the rays that constitute the blue bow are separated from the rest, may very properly be called critical, and the effect, which is the consequence of the oblique incidences that have been given, may with equal propriety be called a critical separation of the different coloured rays of light. 1681 W. Lilly Several Eng. Prophecies Charles Stuart in T. Davies Lives E. Ashmole & W. Lilly 251 The ambiguity of oracles, and their ambodextrous interpretations. 1856 Royal Leamington Spa Courier 29 Mar. We know of no Lectures which combine so happily..the critical and the profound with the light and fanciful. 1922 T. M. Lowry Inorg. Chem. xxii. 248 The critical temperature of water, above which it cannot be retained in a liquid state, is 374°; at this temperature water has a density of only 0.329 and exerts a maximum vapour pressure or critical pressure of 217 atmospheres. 1955 Sci. News Let. 6 Aug. 83/1 The possibility of really putting atoms to work for the good of the world will go ‘critical’, to use a term applicable to the atomic reactor. 1785 Crit. Rolliad (rev. ed.) 66 The person of the name of Joe..will be recognised by the critical and the intelligent, as..Mr. Joseph Miller; a great genius, and an author. 1768 W. Gilpin Ess. Prints 169 How far the works of Hogarth will bear a critical examination, may be the subject of a little more enquiry. 1883 Manch. Guardian 17 Oct. 5/2 Mrs. H——’s throat was badly cut, and her condition is deemed critical. 1692 tr. C. de Saint-Évremond Misc. Ess. 94 Whatsoever Interpretation Tacitus has given of so prudent a Design. 1572 C. Carlile Disc. (title page) An interpretation vpon the second Epistle of S Paul to the Thessalonians, the second Chapter. 1535 G. Joye Apol. Tindale sig. F.iijv Nether is the interpretacion of that worde resurreccion my priuat interpretacion. 1826 J. Gans tr. J. J. Engel Lornez Stark II. xii. 144 His excellent method of treating his critical patient, into whose complaint he had penetrated with the most perfect accuracy. 1858 Jrnl. Royal Agric. Soc. 19 i. 104 Crossing often renders certain species of plants very ‘critical’. 1400 tr. Secreta Secret., Gov. Lordsh. 106 Bytokenynge or enterpreteysoun of wordes ys so as þe esprit of word, and þe endytynge ys þe body, and þe writynge ys þe clethynge of wordys and spekynge. 1765 W. Blackstone Comm. Laws Eng. I. Introd. 58 It may not be amiss to add a few observations concerning the interpretation of laws. 1922 Jrnl. Optical Soc. Amer. 6 7 The substantial independence of critical flicker frequency upon chroma is..the basis of the critical frequency method of heterochromatic photometry. 1600 W. Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream v. i. 54 That is some Satire keene and criticall . View more context for this quotation 1867 F. D. Maurice Patriarchs & Law-givers i. 34 Man finds his meaning and interpretation in God. 1769 ‘Junius’ Stat Nominis Umbra I. iv. 39 Considering the critical situation of this country. 1849 A. Alison Hist. Europe from French Revol. (new ed.) II. vii. 216 Three hundred horse, at that critical moment, might have saved the monarchy. 1786 T. Jefferson Writings II. v. 5 That month, by producing new prospects, has been critical. 1863 Once a Week 15 Aug. 222/1 A critical-minded buffoon, noisy and coarse-tongued, makes comments, close behind us, in a voice louder than that of the performers. 1838 G. Bush Notes Joshua & Judges Pref. 1 Such a union of the critical and the practical, as to adapt the volume somewhat happily to popular use.
The way they are painted looks awkward at first, ill defined—but only because it makes no concessions to haste. He used no shortcuts. He eschewed the sharply abbreviated shapes, high contrasts of tone and grabby oppositions of color that can make an image “memorable” on first sight. Instead, the things in his paintings seep deliberately into one’s attention. They start vaguely, as little more than silhouettes, a vibration of one low color against another. Gradually they “develop” on the eye, and one begins to grasp their internal relationships: how articulate the subtle sequence of tones may be, in a form that once looked flat and light brown; how many colors may be contained, as dusty hints and pearly afterimages of themselves, in what seemed to be a sequence of gray patches. If the straight side of a bottle seems to waver, it does so only to remind us how mutable and hard to fix the act of seeing really is. And if the shapes look simple, their simplicity is extremely deceptive; one recognizes in it the distillation of an intensely pure sensibility, under whose gaze the size of the painting, the silence of the motif and the inwardness of the vision are as one.