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Monday, 26 April 2010

Art, Perspective & Optical Illusions in Paintings


This painting by Tintoretto is of Christ Washing His Disciples Feet. This version is from the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Tintoretto painted this scene a number of times. The painting is a wonderful example of linear perspective. I wrote about linear perspective in prior posts. Linear perspective is a technique that creates illusions of 3 dimensional images on 2 dimensional supports, i.e. canvas. Parallel lines converge to a point(s) on the horizon line or eye level and the lines move into space. Size and distance between objects become smaller. In Tintoretto’s painting this is easily seen on the floor’s tiles. The illusion of movement in space is notable. It is difficult to see the knife (marked by me in green) facing the viewer on the table in this small computer image. The handle overlaps the edge of the table. When you look at the knife and walk slowly past the picture, the knife will appear to move with you. Stand to the left of the painting and the knife will point toward you. Walk to the right and the knife follows you to the right. People visiting the AGO love to see this optical illusion. I hope you will see this painting, my paintings on exhibit in August, and the AGO’s special summer exhibit, Drama and Desire (see my previous post). The link to the AGO is to the right of this post.

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In August 2010 my paintings will be exhibited at the Art for All Canada’s Rainbow Gallery. The Gallery is across from Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market. http://www.artforallcanada.org.

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