The principal device for spatial representation that creates the illusionistic third
dimension on two-dimensional surfaces has been perspective. Refinements
during the Renaissance and the subsequent development of photography in the
nineteenth century reenforced perspective as the natural and standard method of
representation. By the end of the nineteenth century, artists exposed to art from
non-western cultures challenged the confinements of absolute perspective to
develop abstract and expressive representations. An understanding of
perspective helps you create more realistic imagery. Before you can coherently
create abstract art, you should understand the principles of perspective. Study the
works of Albrecht Durer for examples of superb draftsmanship and perspective
In contrast, study the work of Marcel Duchamp, whose
expressive distortions of perspective and perception led into the Futurism
movement in 1909.
The material in this chapter enables you to do the following:
Distinguish between parallel and perspective projection.
Define one-point perspective.
Define two-point perspective.
Define three-point perspective.
Recognize the differences in three-point perspective and isometric projection.
Evaluate key features in drawings and check for technical accuracy and
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