The Innocent Eye Test
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The Innocent Eye Test is a depiction of a cow seeing the portrait of herself by the great Mark Tansey, finally finished and hanging on the walls of a museum.

Whatta moment! As you can see she is really scrutinizing every detail of the work down to the eyelash. But Mark isn’t phased. He knows the work is utter perfection.

Ok, now that we got the pun out of our system, we can tell you the real story. This painting depicts a bunch of scientists testing whether this cow will see the figures in Paulus Potter’s The Young Bull as real cows or just a painting. They wait patiently while the cow decides whether to moo at his potential new cow friends or not. Obviously the curators of this event thought of everything, which is why they strategically placed Haystack by Monet right to the left of the cow painting. You know, to set the mood for the cow. 

This meta cow moment is an ode to semiotics and works such as Magritte’s The Treachery of Images. Tansey had a knack for creating works that were art historical blasts from the past. Some love it. Others have called it “redolent of 1940's illustration and Norman Rockwell on an unsentimental day.” Nevertheless, Tansey milks the art history painter niche for all it's worth. 



  1. Smith, Roberta. "Art In Review." N.p., 1982. Web. 14 Aug. 2017.
  2. "Mark Tansey | The Innocent Eye Test | The Met." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, i.e. The Met Museum. Web. 14 Aug. 2017.
  3. Raynor, Vivien. "ART: MARK TANSEY IN FIRST SOLO SHOW." N.p., 1982. Web. 14 Aug. 2017.