After recently watching John Berger's 1972 TV series Ways of Seeing, I was struck by one particular passage in which Berger speaks about a sense of stillness and silence that certain figurative paintings embody. How figurative paintings differ from photography, film or TV images. He speaks about how certain masterful paintings of past centuries can give one a sense immediate connection between the here-and-now in which we look and the past moment of the painting's images.
One of Berger's arguments is that the majority of the European painting tradition is about the use of oil paint as a means of depicting or reflecting the status of the individuals who commissioned the work of art. However there is a minority of exceptional works that transcend the time and context in which they were created. Berger explains that unlike the photograph that freezes time, a painting that has taken time to create through intense looking, encompasses time.
This short passage from Ways of Seeing is captured as freeze frames with subtitles, see below: