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Pushing it back: depth and repoussoir 2
In the first article of this pair yesterday, I explained and showed how trees to one side of the foreground of a painting strengthen the cues for depth, a compositional technique known as repoussoir, pushing back. This had become quite widely used by the end of the eighteenth century,... Read more
Pushing it back: depth and repoussoir 1
Repoussoir is a term you’ll see bandied about in writing about art, particularly landscape painting. It’s French for pushing back, and refers to compositional techniques used to make the distant parts of an image look further away and deeper into the picture. In this article and its sequel tomorrow,... Read more
Truth in (landscape) painting 4
Cézanne’s final style, featuring his characteristic ‘constructive stroke’ with patches of colour built from groups of parallel brushstrokes, came to dominate his oil paintings by the mid-1890s. It is this style which has been claimed as laying the foundations for Cubism and abstraction. As I have pointed out, such... Read more
Favourite paintings 13: Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, c 1658-1661
A beautifully lit painting showing a woman servant preparing food, within which is a still life of bread and pots, contrasting their textures and glistening glaze. Painter Johannes Vermeer (also Jan or Johan) Painting De Melkmeid (The Milkmaid) Year c 1658-1661 Media oil on canvas Dimensions 45.5 x 41... Read more
Favourite paintings 13: Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, c 1658-1661
A beautifully lit painting showing a woman servant preparing food, within which is a still life of bread and pots, contrasting their textures and glistening glaze. Painter Johannes Vermeer (also Jan or Johan) Painting De Melkmeid (The Milkmaid) Year c 1658-1661 Media oil on canvas Dimensions 45.5 x 41... Read more
Making space: 1 Turning 3D into a 2D drawing or painting
Every time that we sketch, draw or paint, we accomplish the small miracle of depicting a three-dimensional motif on our two-dimensional ground. Before widespread exposure to images created by optical instruments, notably the camera, most people saw very few 2D representations of 3D motifs, unless they were privileged enough... Read more
Making space: 2 Size, distance, position
Considering our list of the most important cues to depth, I now move on to the second and third: occlusion/overlay/interposition/superposition, resulting in depth order (previous article here) relative size, including foreshortening effects height in the picture plane texture and detail gradient shading and shadow aerial perspective, including reduction in... Read more
Making space: 3 Texture, shading, and shadow
Considering our list of the most important cues to depth, I now move on to the fourth and fifth: occlusion/overlay/interposition/superposition, resulting in depth order (previous article here) relative size, including foreshortening effects (previous article here) height in the picture plane (as 2) texture and detail gradient shading and shadow... Read more
Making space: 4 Aerial perspective
Considering our list of the most important cues to depth, I now move on to the sixth: occlusion/overlay/interposition/superposition, resulting in depth order (previous article here) relative size, including foreshortening effects (previous article here) height in the picture plane (as 2) texture and detail gradient (previous article here) shading and... Read more
Making space: 5 Linear perspective
Considering our list of the most important cues to depth, I now move on to the seventh and last: occlusion/overlay/interposition/superposition, resulting in depth order (previous article here) relative size, including foreshortening effects (previous article here) height in the picture plane (as 2) texture and detail gradient (previous article here)... Read more