So the next time you feel like bragging to some Internet comment section about your accomplishments in life, just remember -- Michelangelo painted the fucking Sistine Chapel while this was happening to him:
Sometimes perspective is a tiny foot-chomping demon.
Rembrandt's Entire Art Career May Be Thanks to a Lazy Eye
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Rembrandt's contributions to the art world are a major reason that the era in which he lived and worked has come to be known as the Dutch Golden Age.
It's like the Renaissance, but with windmills.
He left behind a staggering body of work, a hefty chunk of which was self-portraits, because making someone else sit their ass still is hard. If said portraits' level of realism is to be trusted, then they reveal a physical trait of Rembrandt's that, on first thought, would seem like a hindrance to becoming a great artist, but in fact likely helped nudge him along that path. That trait, as evidenced below, was a lazy eye.
National Gallery Publications
"One of my eyes gazes straight into your soul. The other gazes into your left ear hole."
Dr. Margaret Livingstone -- she of the neurological explanation behind the "Mona Lisa"'s smile -- studied Rembrandt's self-portraits and discovered that in all but one, the eyes stare out in different directions. And this isn't just a case of Rembrandt getting sloppy with his brush -- in the portraits he painted of other people, the eyes are straight as an arrow. So what does this tell us?
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
It tells us that sex with the missus always felt like a threesome.
It tells us that Rembrandt was better at seeing the world in two dimensions than regular-sighted folk, and that this "disability" may well have led to him developing his incredible artistic talents. That's because the brains of people who are cross-eyed or wall-eyed tend to learn to discard the input from the offending eye, resulting in stereoblindness -- that is, the inability to see the world in 3D. It takes input from both eyes to construct a three-dimensional image. If you want proof, conduct this little experiment the next time you go to a 3D movie: Cover one eye and measure the amount of time it takes you to puke. Repeat until you stop questioning what we tell you.
People tend to develop stereoblindness in early childhood, so if Rembrandt saw the world in two dimensions, he possessed a natural ability -- from a very young age -- to translate what he saw in front of him onto a two-dimensional canvas. And Rembrandt may not have been the only one to be gifted with a disability that gave him artistic superpowers -- a further study showed that a disproportionate amount of famous artists and current art students suffer from stereoblindness as well. So there you have it: The incongruous key to becoming a successful visual artist might just lie in having a major visual deficiency.
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Related: Did you know whenever you see art depicting the Virgin Mary, chances are good she's squirting breast milk? Or that your favorite piece might have a glaring mistake you never noticed? This is why art is cooler than you thought. Every work is like a Where's Waldo? book.