Perspective - Part 2

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In the graphic below, we have depicted three boxes in three different spatial locations, and yet, they all have a common vanishing point.  Also, you need to notice that all vertical and horizontal lines that compose the boxes are parallel to their own kind (vertical or horizontal.) All this occurs  because the frontal faces of the objects are perpendicular to the viewer (90 degree angles.) This would not be the case, however, if the boxes would be facing different directions.  This latter part will be explained latter.

The Horizon Line is represented by the blue line, convergence Lines are represented in red.  Constructed Lines (lines that form an object) are solid black, and the construction lines that are obscured from view are represented by black dotted lines.

This is the same graphic as the one on the left, but now the objects (the boxes) appear with all the completed sides, but both pictures help you understand the way the principles of perspective work together to give you the tool of proper design.

  Application:  If you examine Canaletto's painting on the left, you will see that all the diagonal lines appear to recede to a point into the background of the painting behind the opening in the lower right part of the painting, while the vertical and horizontal constructed lines remain parallel to each other. This tells us that Canaletto was in front of this side of the building when he painted it.  Observe how the elements on the floor and the ceiling adhere to this rule also, and share the same vanishing point.

Something similar can be said of Vermeer's Street in Delft.  Observe the vanishing point behind the bending woman in the alley, where all converging lines point to, including the floor and the building next to the facade.  This facade is a remarkable example of how the constructed lines remain parallel to each other, because the eyes of the viewer are perpendicular to the object.

Capriccio- A Colonnade Opening onto the Courtyard of a Palace,
by Canaletto 1765, 
Accademia, Venice.
Street in Delft by Jan Vermeer c.1657-1658
Oil on canvas
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

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Graphics by Santa Maria Studio. All Rights Reserved. 2003