Axonometry queen of promising systems Automatic translate
In the discussion of various possible systems of scientific perspective, it was said that in all these systems the image of the close foreground causes very great difficulties. That is why artists avoid the image on their canvases of the nearest 2 meters and even more. Of course, there are exceptions, such as portraiture, but about it later. The intuitive desire to avoid the transfer of nearby areas of space began to manifest itself as soon as the artists had the task of showing the space as a whole, rather than individual objects. This cardinal change of the problem took place in the Renaissance, and its solution became possible on the path to assimilation of the then new doctrine of perspective.
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Before the Renaissance, artists were able to depict individual objects, combining them into an integral composition, not by transmitting a space that was uniform for all objects, but using, as already mentioned, such means as rhythm, symmetry, etc. The objects of the image were primarily the situation: tables, music stands, various seats (from the throne to a simple stool), the foot, as well as objects such as books, caskets, etc., they were not written from life, but from memory and, of course, based on tradition. However, the primary was, of course, the natural visual perception, and tradition as the total experience of the transfer by artists who worked in a particular culture of their visual perception was secondary. If we take into account that all these objects are relatively small and the natural distance of the contemplative person from them is 2 meters in ordinary life (and even less, for example, for a book), then we come to the following conclusion: the artists of antiquity and the Middle Ages depicted objects as they were visible from a distance of 2 meters.
Exactly those 2 meters that a contemporary artist seeks not to show (or fails, like Repin in the portrait of Mendeleev), were the main part of the space depicted by ancient and medieval masters. Didn’t they at the same time experience the difficulties that led the artists of the post-Renaissance era to despair? The answer may seem unexpected: for modern artists, the difficulties of displaying visible at a distance of 2 meters are really almost insurmountable, and for ancient masters - a mere trifle.
The solution to this paradox is quite easy. It should not be forgotten that the theory of perceptual perspective proves the inevitability of errors in any image, but at the same time suggests that these errors can be shifted from one image element to another. Is it possible to accurately (or almost accurately) convey in the picture these unfortunate near 2 meters, if the inevitable distortions are shifted to more distant plans? The post-Renaissance artist does not even pose such a question, because it is important for him to convey a deep space, maybe even to the horizon. The medieval or antique master was not interested in transferring space at all; he was interested in a separate subject, the depth of which most likely did not exceed a meter. Exciting problems of the post-renaissance artist, problems for his ancient fellow artists simply did not exist.
Mathematics shows that the closest (2 - 3 meters) and shallow plan can be perfectly conveyed, if we consider the strongest distortions of the more distant plans admissible. For ancient and medieval artists, this was quite acceptable, because the more distant plans they simply did not portray. But then the strongest distortions in question existed only potentially, they were not realized and therefore did not bother anyone. In a certain sense, the artists of the New Age do the same: they strive to correctly convey the important middle plan for them, agreeing with the large unavoidable errors that arise in the near foreground, but they do not depict this plan, turning system errors into potentially possible, but not implemented.
For clarity, here we can draw such an analogy. Imagine a certain device, possibly binoculars, with the help of which an examination is made of a deep landscape lying ahead. By changing the focus of the device, it is possible to make the middle plan be clearly visible, but the front one will inevitably become vague and fuzzy. Changing the focus once again, we can consider a close plan due to the fact that now the middle and far will become vague and fuzzy. The artists of antiquity and the New Age seemed to use optical devices with different focuses: each made clear what was important to him.
A mathematical analysis of the equations of perceptual perspective shows that he sees the closest space surrounding a person according to the laws of parallel perspective, that is, axonometry. One terminological clarification is appropriate here: all images deprived of perspective abbreviations, and not only those in which parallel lines are clearly shown, will be called axonometric. Due to the perfect naturalness of the axonometric vision of close space, the massive appearance of axonometric images in ancient and medieval art is quite understandable. Artists, without further ado, painted objects the way they saw them daily, rightly believing that it is possible to distort the natural visual perception when transferring it to the plane of the picture only if the artistic task they are solving requires; in all other cases, this is not necessary.
Art historians, shackled by the seemingly infallibility of the Renaissance perspective system, were not able to understand why ancient artists show so different things on icons, murals, miniatures of manuscripts or antique murals. What just did not expect! They said that, not knowing the laws of perspective, these masters tried to naively convey the actual parallelism of the two edges of a rectangular table, not realizing that they really had to be shown having straight vanishing points on the horizon, etc. However, contrary to general opinion, in the Middle Ages and in antiquity, artists acted absolutely correctly from the point of view of the theory of perspective, taking into account the work of the brain, and erroneous reasoning belongs to art critics who, through the fault of mathematicians of past times, believed in the infallibility of the Renaissance a clear perspective system.
Sometimes, in particular when analyzing Chinese scrolls, where axonometric images are an inviolable rule, it is stated that a Chinese artist mentally deleted himself to infinity and wrote objects as if seen from infinity, and therefore - in a parallel perspective. Indeed, comparatively small image objects viewed from afar are seen axonometrically. But why, when portraying close objects, do you mentally delete yourself somewhere, rather than simply write objects as they are visible nearby? These explanations are generated by the fact that their authors are convinced of the absolute correctness of the Renaissance system of perspective, including for close objects, which is deeply erroneous. In addition, the Chinese artist, in order to reason in this way, had to know the theory of the Renaissance perspective. But was that so?
By virtue of their exact correspondence to natural visual perception, axonometric images have impressive visibility and, in addition, are simple to execute. Therefore, they are widely used in various kinds of engineering drawings, when it becomes necessary to convey the appearance of some details in perspective. A number of conditional methods of depiction were developed here, which are not at all mandatory for artists, including a conditionally fixed perspective. Conditional images are completely legal in the drawings, but are absolutely contraindicated for the artist, transmitting his visual perception of the subject and freely choosing his position relative to the subject, and therefore the angle.
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