Merleau-Ponty drew on the writings of modern artists and concluded that the painter’s vision is not a view on the outside, but a concentration or coming to itself of the visible. He claimed ‘that modes of thought correspond to technical methods, and that, to use Goethe’s phrase, ‘what is inside is also outside’, (Merleau-Ponty, ‘Sense and Nonsense’ 1964 p. 59).


In the posthumous publication ‘The Visible and the Invisible’ (1968) Merleau-Ponty viewed his theories as incomplete. He indicated that one of the areas destined for review was a study of the imaginary, ‘which is not simply the production of mental images, but the baroque proliferation of generating axes for visibility in the duplicity of the real’ p. lii.