Perspective in fine art refers to the viewpoint or orientation from
which that art is painted, drawn, or otherwise rendered. The link
below, from eLearners.com, provides further definitions:
Below I will provide you with a number of resources which explore the
fine points of perspective in art.
The following link is to a treatment of linear perspective, entitled,
From Human Architecture to Architectural Structure: Part I:
Brunelleschi and the Origin of Linear Perspective:
[ http://www.crs4.it/Ars/arshtml/arch1.html ].
What renaissance artists had clearly achieved through careful
observation of nature, including studies of anatomical dissections,
was a means to recreate the 3-dimensional physical reality of the
human form on 2-dimensional surfaces. In part, the key to this
achievement lay in understanding the underlying, hidden structure of
the human body which then enabled the artist to produce realistic
representations of what he saw on the flat surface of a wall in the
case of frescoes or on a wooden panel or paper in the case of
Here is a link to Part II of the same treatment which is entitled,
Applications of the Method of Perspective in Renaissance Art:
[ http://www.crs4.it/Ars/arshtml/arch2.html ].
The video clip attached to this link allows you to crossfade back and
forth between the original perspective drawing and the modern
photograph. It is clear how successful the new art of mathematical
perspective was in depicting spatial reality.
But this was just the beginning. Ten years later, Masaccio applied the
new method of mathematical perspective even more spectacularly -- in
this fresco of the "Holy Trinity",
where the barrel vaulted ceiling is incredible in its complex,
mathematical use of perspective.
Next is Part III of this series on perspective, entitled The
Importance of Mathematics to Renaissance Art:
The culmination of the mathematical theory of perspective with a
philosophical program of the most intense and religious order comes
with the work of Piero della Francesca. His St. Anthony's Polyptich,
in Perrugia, shows how masterfully he was able to use the new theory
The following website (Evansville.edu) deals with Linear and
Atmospheric perspective, and contains many links to sites dealing with
[ http://www2.evansville.edu/studiochalkboard/draw.html ].
From the above sites links list, here is one site dedicated to The
Perspective of Shadows:
[ http://www2.evansville.edu/studiochalkboard/lp-shadow.html ].
Even shadows have vanishing points, but these do not correspond
directly to the vanishing points or horizon line. Shadows have their
own vanishing points which are called light vanishing points or shadow
vanishing points. To create believable shadows one must first draw an
object in a transparent way.
Here is a link to their page entitled, ATMOSPHERIC or AERIAL
Aerial or atmospheric interference with visual perception causes loss
of contrast, detail and sharp focus. The effect, which Leonardo called
"the perspective of disappearance," tends to make objects seem to take
on a blue-gray middle value as they increase in distance. This effect
is used by film makers to give the illusion of great depth, but can be
used to great effect by painters and draughtsmen. The illustration
above shows loss of color saturation, contrast, and detail as the
cubes fall further away from the viewer.
Heres a link to another page dealing with perspective in art, this
one entitled CALCULATING DIMINISHING SIZE IN PERSPECTIVE:
[ http://www2.evansville.edu/studiochalkboard/lp-diminish.html ].
One can also plot diminishing size on horizontal adjacent planes by
using the top or bottom edge of each vertical plane. The horizontal
white line near the bottom of the diagram is merely a horizontal line
that intersects with one of the vertical divisions. From these points
one can plot the diminishing size of the horizontal planes.
Diminishing size in perspective is shown in Pieter Brueghel the
Elder's Peasant Dance done around 1567. You can see the size of areas
in the front of the building on the left, then in the picket fence.
Since this will appear as a large image in your browser window, you
can scroll through the piece to find other specific details.
Heres another article entitled EXTERIORS IN 3-POINT PERSPECTIVE:
A third point can come into play in perspective, but only when
dealing with extreme heights or lows. Tall buildings are one example.
In the case of looking up at a tall building (worm's eye view) the
edges of the building will not only recede to the two vanishing points
(if looking at corner), but there will be an upward (or downward)
recession to a vanishing point. This vanishing point is always
directly in front of the viewer at a 90 degree angle to the horizon
line. If looking down at an object in three point perspective it is
referred to as a bird's eye view.
The next link is to an essay on and entitled Perspective by john:
[ http://essay.studyarea.com/Old_Essay/Art/perspective.htm ].
Use of perspective in art finds its root in one man, Filippo
Brunelleschi. Although we dont know for sure, it is likely that
Brunelleschi also invented linear, or scientific perspective.
Donatellos The Feast of Herod is the earliest surviving example of
scientific perspective, which is established through the use of a
vanishing point, an imaginary single point on the page in which all
the parallel lines meet."
Next is a link to a highly academic article entitled, Review: Michael
Kubovy, The Psychology of Perspective and Renissance Art. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1986:
[ http://www.sumscorp.com/articles/art41.htm ].
Professor Kubovy is a psychologist concerned with the phenomenon of
perspective during the Renaissance. Following an introductory chapter
on the metaphor of the eye during the fifteenth century, he outlines
the elements of perspective, referring to camera obscuras and distance
points. He argues (p.38): "that Alberti and not Brunelleschi invented
perspective as a communicable set of practical procedures that can be
used by artists." Nonetheless, he examines the effectiveness of
Brunelleschi's perspectival peepshow, giving two reasons why it
produced (p.49): "a compelling experience of depth. Professor Kubovy
claims that perspectival pictures, even if they be not seen under the
controlled conditions of a peepshow, have a surprising "robustness",
that is, they maintain their spatial effects even when seen from
positions other than the central vanishing point. Noting that
perspectival pictures are illusionistic by nature, he next offers an
insightful classification of trompe l'oeil pictures, exploring also
the "underpinnings" of these illusionistic effects caused by the
"robustness" of perspective, and considers the "bounds" of
perspective: extreme conditions under which marginal distortions play
havoc with perspective.
The following series of links will provide you with even more
information and further resources on perspective in art.
Google search strategy:
perspective fine art:
technical fundamentals of perspective: [Note: this search tends to
lead to technical how-to-draw lessons of different type of
importance art perspective [Note: this type of search tends to lead
to theoretical/academic discussions of perspective in art]
I hope you find the information here more than sufficient to assist
you with your project. If for some reason you do not, or if I have
left something out here which is important to you, then please do not
hesitate to ask for Clarification.
Google Answers Researcher