As an amateur artist, I’m always looking for ways to accurately show perspective in my paintings. Interestingly, the invention of perspective, conceived during the Renaissance, gives artists freedom to explore the concept of space and their relationship with the image.
The connection between perspective in art today and in the Renaissance is explained in the blog post “On Perspective. . . Elkins, Panofsky, Crary,” a wordpress page written by an assistant professor at the University of Florida. The site seems credible because it relates the views of several authors on the subject. One of the main points in the post is that perspective is connected to a time period’s culture, which makes sense since perspective allows artists to show viewers how they perceive a scene, which is influenced by how their culture see it. The blog page quotes author James Elkins, who insists that nowadays perspective uses “point of view and space” as a metaphor within an artwork. Going to the origins of perspective, it originated during the Renaissance, as another author quoted in the blog post, Erwin Panofsky, explains. “Renaissance perspective systemized space on the canvas. The mathematization or rationalization of space . . . is what gives rise to perspective,” the blog paraphrases.
Looking at artwork from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance, I can see that Renaissance artists began to play with perspective and how they as viewers interpreted the scene they were creating. This is seen in the following images:
My own experience taking art classes has taught me that perspective drawing is difficult. In fact, a majority of the people in my drawing class struggled with this concept. Yet by looking at the development of perspective, I feel that I am better able to appreciate the innovation of Renaissance artwork. Renaissance artists were able to capture scenes in a way that paved the path for future artists, allowing artists of today to tangibly explore spaces as they are perceived by the viewer. For me at least, comparing artwork today with that of the Renaissance puts things in a new perspective.
“Banquet scene (1517).” Photos/Illustrations. Lacroix, Paul. Moeurs, Usage et Costumes au Moyen Age et a l’Epoque de la Renaissance, 1878. Daily Life through History. ABC-CLIO, 2016. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.
“Jongleurs (13th century).” Photos/Illustrations. Lacroix, Paul. Moeurs, Usage et Costumes au Moyen Age et a l’Epoque de la Renaissance, 1878. Daily Life through History. ABC-CLIO, 2016. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.
“St. Francis in the Desert.” Photos/Illustrations. Bellini, Giovanni, St. Francis in the Desert, ca. 1480, Frick Collection, New York. Daily Life through History. ABC-CLIO, 2016. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.