Maths in Art 2: Perspective

Perspective is a tool used by artists to give depth to a two-dimensional image.

The Bayeux tapestry is an example of art without perspective, the knights and horses are drawn overlapping one another to show which are nearer and which are further away.

The Egyptian art is similar in that it also appears flat, although the people in the background are smaller a step towards adding perspective.

If we take a look at the tracks in this photo we know in real life that no matter how far down we walk the tracks will always be the same distance apart, because the trains wheels aren’t going to change. Yet in the photo all the lines converge to one point. This was first noticed by Pappus of Alexandria in the 15th century, he created a mathematical geometry to describe this. It helps artists to create more realistic images.

This well known relief from the Sistine Chapel shows exactly what a good effect it can have.

Perspective isn’t one of the most exciting tools used, but it is required for all realistic landscapes.

2 responses to “Maths in Art 2: Perspective

  1. Pingback: Maths in Art 3: M C Escher | TomCandy·

  2. Pingback: Top 5: Sculpture by the Sea 2013 | TomCandy·

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