Visionary  

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This page Visionary is part of the mysticism series. Illustration: The Ecstatic Virgin Anna Katharina Emmerich by (1885) by Gabriel Cornelius von Max
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This page Visionary is part of the mysticism series.
Illustration: The Ecstatic Virgin Anna Katharina Emmerich by (1885) by Gabriel Cornelius von Max
This page Visionary is part of the mysticism series. Illustration to the Speculum Sophicum Rhodostauroticum (1618) by Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens
Enlarge
This page Visionary is part of the mysticism series.
Illustration to the Speculum Sophicum Rhodostauroticum (1618) by Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Defined broadly, a visionary, is one who can envision the future.

The visionary state is achieved via meditation, drugs, lucid dreams, daydreams, or art. One example is Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th century artist/visionary and Catholic saint. Other visionaries in religion are Mohammed, St Bernadette and Joseph Smith (said to have had a vision of and communed with the Angel Gabriel, the Blessed Virgin, and the Angel Moroni respectively).

Extended meanings

A vision can be political, religious, environmental, social, or technological in nature. By extension, a visionary can also be a person with a clear, distinctive, and specific (in some details) vision of the future, usually connected with advances in technology or social/political arrangements. For example, Ted Nelson is referred to as a visionary in connection with the Internet.

Other visionaries simply imagine what does not yet exist but might some day, as some forms of visioning (or gazing) provide a glimpse into the possible future. Therefore, visioning can mean seeing in a utopian way what does not yet exist on earth—but might exist in another realm—such as the ideal or perfect realm as imagined or thought. Examples are Buckminster Fuller in architecture and design, Malcolm Bricklin in the automobile industry and some of the pioneers of personal computing such as Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak. Some people use mathematics to make visionary discoveries in the nature of the universe. In that sense, a visionary may also function as a secular prophet. Some visionaries emphasize communication, and some assume a figurehead role in organizing a social group.

In art

visionary art

Artists may produce work loosely categorized as visionary art for its luminous content and/or for its use of artistic techniques that call for the use of extended powers of perception in the viewer: (e.g. Gustave Moreau, Samuel Palmer, Jean Delville, Ernst Fuchs, the French Symbolist Odilon Redon, Brion Gysin, Max Ernst, Stanley Spencer, Edward Burne Jones, Adolf Wolfli, Fred Sandback, William Blake, Hieronymus Bosch, and Henry Darger).

Visionary art can be incorrectly defined as a category of primitive art (art of those not formally trained) rather than describing people who have used their visions (or dreams) to create their paintings. Salvador Dalí is one artist who would exemplify visionary art that is neither religious nor primitive.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Visionary" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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