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Coldstream wanted to develop an objective manner of painting, transcribing onto canvas precisely what he saw before him. This supposed objectivity was most clearly shown by his technique of measuring the distances between different points on the body and marking them on the canvas with red paint. But these marks may also function as active parts of the image. For example, the clusters around the model’s nipples seem to inject an erotic undertone.Coldstream’s desire for precision and objectivity meant that he rarely decided a painting was finished, but simply stopped when he reached a deadline.

May 2007