I really appreciate the piece of Gabriele Munter's Madonna with Still Life. I had not heard of her before now and this particular piece was really exciting for me.I saw something different though and my eye followed a different path. My eye went directly to the face of the Madonna, then to the child, then to the hands of the child holding the golden heart, then back to the white flowers in the vase. They are the white-ish elements in an otherwise chromatic painting. They felt like a path to me.
When you noted the red vase with the red flower pointing back to her face, I first questioned my subconscious. Then I saw it as a different path into the painting and wondered how the two paths relate. I'm still wondering.
I think it’s likely that many pieces of artwork have more than one path into the composition, and this is what you picked up on. It may have to do with the format for viewing, which is another aspect I hadn’t considered until reading your post today. If I saw this painting in person, would it have a different impact than seeing it on a laptop screen? Would the larger format desktop computer give me the option of seeing it differently from looking at it on a cellphone screen. Undoubtedly! So not only can be be curious when we study a pointing wherever we have encountered it, we can also ask ourselves these questions and find the comparisons informative.
When I looked at Madonna with Still Life just now, I entered the painting on the path that you suggested. Power of suggestion? Maybe. I looked forward to seeing the painting again ash hadn’t looked at it for awhile and I wondered if my experience of it would be similar to last time I looked at it.
I can still “see” the path initiated by the bright red elements, but now I have a new appreciation for the path you suggested. I think a strong artist may very well pay attention to more than one “entry point” and enjoy playing with several of them.