More about perspective

Artists haven’t always understood perspective and how to create a realist image. Look at Ugolino di Nerio's depiction of The Last Supper painted in the 14th Century which shows only a very limited knowledge of perspective. The table is sloping towards the floor and the figures furthest away are larger than the ones closer to the viewer.

The first written account of constructing pictures in correct perspective is found in a treatise written by Leon Battista Alberti (1404 – 1472), artist, architect, writer, who along with Filippo Brunelleschi is credited with the "invention" of linear perspective. Here is an early painting by Pietro Perugino (c1446-1523) demonstrating knowledge of perspective especially in the decreasing size of the stones in the pavement. Drawing a tessellated pavement is a must lesson for all budding artists.

And here is Brunelleschi's perspective drawing for the Church of Santo Spirito in Florence

The Italian painter Paolo Uccello developed the concept of linear perspective during the 15th Century. He too wanted to show off his ability to draw a tessellated pavement as shown here in a scene from his Corpus Domini predella (c. 1465–1468), set in a Jewish pawnbroker's home. .

Here is an excellent article on the development of perspective for those of you who want to know more.

But let us conclude today's Blog with the work of Alfred Wallis, the Cornish fisherman turned painter introduced in yesterday's Blog.

At first artists used one vanishing point but later multiple vanishing points were mastered. In this painting Wallis has applied some knowledge of two point perspective to the large house which is the central object of the painting and therefore the most significant aspect. The two small cottages to the side which are relatively unimportant are flat with no perspective. The large house on the hill also appears flat. Perhaps Wallis was becoming more accurate in copying from real life or perhaps he was becoming more knowledgeable of perspective and applied it for emphasis.

Anne Newman

Oil Painter in realistic genre style, predominantly buildings and people. To continue the discussion contact Anne on or phone +61 407 516 522

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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