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it seems like the distinction between "representational" (or imitative) and "non-representational" art that arose after the invention of photography tended to lump all art from before this distinction arose into the "representational" category (with "new" art being distinguished, and seen as virtuous, as "non-representational"). but of course before this distinction was drawn there was no such taxonomy and artists wouldn't have conceptualized themselves as belonging to either category

Lew Perin @wrenpile

@aparrish Good point, but I can think of an exception: artists in strict Islamic societies who would have assured you that their work (e.g. geometric, calligraphic) was non-representational.

@wrenpile oh wow yes, that is an excellent (and obvious in hindsight) counterexample. that opens a whole new line of thinking for me here, thank you!