trajets parlants

English translation: eloquent play of gazes

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:trajets parlants
English translation:eloquent play of gazes
Entered by: Charles Davis
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10:13 Jul 7, 2018
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Art, Arts & Crafts, Painting
French term or phrase: trajets parlants
From an academic article on Giotto and specifically The Meeting at the Golden Gate, viewable here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joachim_and_Anne_Meeting_at_th...
The relevant detail of the fresco is here: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/326299935478258558/?lp=true

The writer is discussing the way Giotto portrays Anne and Joachim's faces, which he brings very close together, and their eyes:

"Les fines rides, mettent en évidence l’âge des époux, la réalisation des iris et des pupilles suivent des trajets parlants : le regard de l’homme est direct et pénétrant, celui de la femme, perdu et révulsé."

I'm having difficulty with "trajets parlants" - especially with the first word. "Parlant" suggests "eloquent", but I'm not sure how best to translate "trajets" here.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
Martin Fyles
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:48
eloquent play of gazes
Explanation:
"Play of gazes" is not, I grant you, an expression much used in everyday speech, but it is much favoured by art critics to refer to people in paintings looking at each other. And I think that's what "trajets" refers to, as mchd suggests. Of course the expression in their eyes is eloquent, but "trajets" is more than the expression, it denotes the direction of the gaze. This is about how Joachim and Anna are looking at each other, what their looks express, not vis-à-vis the viewer (though a play of gazes in a painting certainly can include the viewer), but each other. So I see it. And let's recall that this is part of an argument refuting Vasari's reservations (or whatever) about "la place occupée par le regard dans la répresentation giottesque des sentiments", so I think this interpretation is thoroughly relevant in that context.

"Gaze" is a word art critics and curators love.

Here are a couple of illustrative examples:

"The triangular play of gazes, in which Isherwood stares at Bachardy and Bachardy scrutinizes Hockney, encapsulates the intense and stimulating friendship the three enjoyed"
David Hockey and others, David Hockney: Portraits, p. 1973
https://books.google.es/books?id=d9C5Xnv0KowC&pg=PA1973-IA12...

"The gaze
At the heart of the painting is a complex play of gazes enacted by the two figures seated in the theatre box."
On Renoir's La Loge
https://courtauld.ac.uk/learn/schools-colleges-universities/...

"Consider in this regard the picture's play of gazes. Not only does the executioner contemplate his victim, but the victim contemplates his executioner."
Marc Gotlieb, The Deaths of Henri Regnault
https://books.google.es/books?id=5Tg8DgAAQBAJ&pg=PT136&lpg=P...


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs (2018-07-07 20:23:00 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I said that it refers to people looking at each other, but not only. To me it's clear that Anne is looking at Joachim here, and quite intensely, but you might argue that he is looking not at her but beyond her. However, that situation can still be described as a "play of gazes". In the Renoir example I cited above from the Courtauld, "an elegantly dressed woman lowers her opera glasses, revealing herself to her admirers in the theatre, whilst her male companion trains his gaze elsewhere in the audience".
Selected response from:

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 07:48
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +2eloquent play of gazes
Charles Davis
3eloquent focus
B D Finch


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


52 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
eloquent focus


Explanation:
I think you might need to turn the sentence around a bit. In English, this might work better in the singular.



B D Finch
France
Local time: 07:48
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 119
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in this pair and field What is ProZ.com Project History(SM)?
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
eloquent play of gazes


Explanation:
"Play of gazes" is not, I grant you, an expression much used in everyday speech, but it is much favoured by art critics to refer to people in paintings looking at each other. And I think that's what "trajets" refers to, as mchd suggests. Of course the expression in their eyes is eloquent, but "trajets" is more than the expression, it denotes the direction of the gaze. This is about how Joachim and Anna are looking at each other, what their looks express, not vis-à-vis the viewer (though a play of gazes in a painting certainly can include the viewer), but each other. So I see it. And let's recall that this is part of an argument refuting Vasari's reservations (or whatever) about "la place occupée par le regard dans la répresentation giottesque des sentiments", so I think this interpretation is thoroughly relevant in that context.

"Gaze" is a word art critics and curators love.

Here are a couple of illustrative examples:

"The triangular play of gazes, in which Isherwood stares at Bachardy and Bachardy scrutinizes Hockney, encapsulates the intense and stimulating friendship the three enjoyed"
David Hockey and others, David Hockney: Portraits, p. 1973
https://books.google.es/books?id=d9C5Xnv0KowC&pg=PA1973-IA12...

"The gaze
At the heart of the painting is a complex play of gazes enacted by the two figures seated in the theatre box."
On Renoir's La Loge
https://courtauld.ac.uk/learn/schools-colleges-universities/...

"Consider in this regard the picture's play of gazes. Not only does the executioner contemplate his victim, but the victim contemplates his executioner."
Marc Gotlieb, The Deaths of Henri Regnault
https://books.google.es/books?id=5Tg8DgAAQBAJ&pg=PT136&lpg=P...


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs (2018-07-07 20:23:00 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I said that it refers to people looking at each other, but not only. To me it's clear that Anne is looking at Joachim here, and quite intensely, but you might argue that he is looking not at her but beyond her. However, that situation can still be described as a "play of gazes". In the Renoir example I cited above from the Courtauld, "an elegantly dressed woman lowers her opera glasses, revealing herself to her admirers in the theatre, whilst her male companion trains his gaze elsewhere in the audience".

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 07:48
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 44

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jessica Noyes
5 hrs
  -> Many thanks, Jessica :-)

agree  B D Finch
20 hrs
  -> Thanks, Barbara :-)
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