The classical tradition in Western painting, represented by such as Raphael, involved setting up the optimum conditions for seeing and understanding. However, real experience is not always so favoured by circumstances. There is another tradition that acknowledges the deficiency of our vision and grasp. Titian serves as its early exemplar. A history of painting is to be traced through the obscurings of Caravaggio and his followers, the incompletenesses of appearances, noted by such as Vermeer, the adoption of a role for painting to show the reality of action and experience; the one often in disregard of witness, the other frequently obscured.