When is a Painting Finished?

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As part of his blog series about slow looking James Elkins ponders the "ferociously difficult" question of when a painting is finished. He examines 'unfinished' paintings from a number of painters including Parmigianino, Cezanne, and de Kooning "map[ing] out three of the fundamental ways that paintings can be unfinished, because thinking about how something is unfinished is just a little clearer than thinking about how it's finished."

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