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History of Perspective Drawing

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Nathan Lee-Wing

on 10 March 2016

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Transcript of History of Perspective Drawing

History of Perspective Drawing
This is an example of skenographia (not from ancient Greece). Notice how the the panels drawn add perspective to the painting in a systematic way.
The roof beams in rooms in the Vatican Virgil, from about 400 AD, are shown converging, more or less, on a common vanishing point, and the scene can be interpreted as a semi-circular stage
Simple computer generated scenes like this may take hours to complete
The beams of the ceiling don't agree spatially with the seat that the Virgin Mary is on or with the little stand for the Bible that we see, or with the lines that are constructed by the top of the capitals of the pillars.
This is vertical perspective, the sarcophagus of the king is larger then everything else, and we can see the effect of figures in layers
The earliest art paintings and drawings sized many objects and characters according to their spiritual or political importance, not their distance from the viewer
The most important figures are shown as the front-most object in the painting
This leads to the first time of perspective called
"vertical perspective",
common in the art of Ancient Egypt, where a group of "nearer" figures are shown below the larger figure or figures.
Ancient Egypt 3300-600 B.C
Planned attempts to evolve a system of perspective are usually considered to have begun around the fifth century BC
This is part of a developing interest in
illusionism.

Illusionism
is a work of art that appears to share the physical space with the viewer or more broadly the attempt to represent physical appearances more closely
This was labeled in
Aristotle's
work as
skenographia
: using flat panels on a stage to give the illusion of depth
Ancient Greece 500-400 B.C
Ancient Rome and Greece
400 B.C- 1 A.D
Giotto attempted drawings in perspective using an algebraic method to determine the placement of distant lines.
One of Giotto's first uses of his algebraic method of perspective was Jesus Before Caiaphas.
Although the picture does not conform to the modern, geometrical method of perspective, it does give a considerable illusion of depth, and was a large step forward in Western art.
Giotto
1308-1311
A painter in Siena, Italy
Ducio was very interested in trying to create an earthly space in his paintings, and used past techniques, and his new ideas on perspective to create this
In the Annunciation of the Death of the Virgin, we can see the beams in the ceiling, the architecture and the doors all create some perspective.
However, Duccio is not constructing that architectural space in a way that looks logical to our eye.
Duccio
1266-1271

Euclid's
Optics
introduced a mathematical theory of perspective, but there is debate over how much Euclid's perspective agree with the modern mathematical definition.
Some Greek and Roman work suggests that classical artists and theorists thought in terms of "
circles
" at equal distance from the viewer, like a semi-circular theatre seen from the stage.
Various paintings and drawings during the Middle Ages show amateur attempts at projections of furniture, but they are without a vanishing point
In this period the use of perspective techniques declined.
Early Medieval art was slow and inconsistent in relearning the rules from the classical models
In the Islamic world and China, artists were aware of the general principle of varying the relative size of figures according to distance, but were yet to come up with a systematic approach.
Medieval
1-1200 A.D
Giotto has succeded in adding perspective in his painting. This can be seen on the framwork of the ceiling. However, there are still somethings wrong notcibly the sides of the painting and the people depicted.
There's an increasing interest in the 1400s in rationalism, the period that we really call the Renaissance.
In Florence in 1420, Brunelleschi discovers (some would say rediscovers, because the ancient Greeks and Romans had this before) but he discovers linear perspective.
And 15 years later, another artist, Alberti, puts into words what Brunelleschi had discovered.
He explained the system of linear perspective for artists in a book called
On Painting
and inside that book, he really gives the formula for linear perspective which we talk about on the
website
The Renaissance -1400-1600
The Renaissance 1495-1498
After Brunelleschi discovers linear perspective,artists like Masaccio and Da Vinci begin to use it
They realize that in addition to creating an illusion of space, it has a way of bringing the viewer's attention to the vanishing point.
Artists in this time period begin to use it not just to create that illusion, but they begin to use it expressively.
On Painting by Alberti
And that's what we really see here with The Last Supper. Not only is Leonardo creating a beautiful perspectival space, but he's also focusing our attention on Jesus Christ at the center who is the vanishing point.
The Last Supper 1495-1498
Here we see Leonardo's Last Supper, and can certainly just intuitively make out the
orthogonals
(the diagonal lines that meet at the vanishing point)
Also, their eye level all across is basically at the
horizon line
(the thick bold line).
We see the vanishing point, the point where all of the orthogonals intersect, and we have all of these lines that are moving across the surface of this wall, and they are all bringing our eye right to Jesus Christ in the center.
Computer Graphics
Present
Perspective in terms of drawing and painting have virtually remained the same since the Renaissance
However computer software, and some computer games (especially games using 3-D polygons) use linear algebra, and matrix multiplication, to create a sense of perspective.
The scene is a set of points, and these points are projected to a plane(computer screen)
The problem with computer generated perspective is simply finding the corresponding coordinates on the plane corresponding to the points in the desired scene.
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