Full Text

Perspective, Pictorial

Eduardo Neiva

Subject Art
Communication Studies » Visual and Non-verbal Communication

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Perspective refers to the graphic representation on a flat surface of an optical sense of depth associated with natural stereoscopic vision (→  Visual Representation ). This translation of three-dimensional visual perception onto a two-dimensional picture plane is accomplished through a variety of techniques for composing the pictorial space, including: (1) diminishing scale, (2) the occlusion of figures and shapes, (3) atmospheric blurring or color variation from foreground to background, and (4) the converging of parallel lines at vanishing points along an imaginary horizon line. From the fifteenth century in Europe, artists increasingly used a combination of such techniques to create formal systems of perspective designed to present the picture plane as a kind of window, through which one views a visible world implied beyond the plane of the picture frame (→  Painting ). Tied to the notion that a picture could, and should, imitate natural appearances, European drawing, painting, and print-making (→  Prints ; Printing, History of ) following the Renaissance conventionally organized the lines, shapes, and colors of the picture plane to appear to proceed outward from an observer's unique point of view. The viewer sees depicted objects and space from the single perspective of the viewer's unique position, as if the visible world was unified along the sight lines of this imagined ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top