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Perspective, Pictorial

Eduardo Neiva


Subject Art
Communication Studies » Visual and Non-verbal Communication

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Extract

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

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