Axonometry queen of promising systems: Axonometry Automatic translate
The property of a parallel system of perspective (axonometry) - to accurately convey the appearance of relatively small objects located at a very close distance - has long attracted the attention of artists. It is well known, for example, to portrait painters who, in a group portrait, do not resort to promising head size reductions if this distorts the laws of natural visual perception, assuming that they do not use the laws of the scientific system of perspective because they are not suitable here. In fact, in this case, it is the renaissance version of the perspective system that is absolutely not suitable, and the technique they use is based on the same legitimate version of the scientific perspective system as the renaissance one. So portrait painters are virtually completely in solidarity with Andrea Mantegna.
Thus, axonometry is a completely legal and scientifically substantiated way of transferring close objects on the plane of the picture. But this is not the only area of its application. It has long been known that distant objects, if their sizes are not too large, are also seen axonometrically.In contrast to the axonometry of the near foreground, which receives scientific justification only within the framework of the perceptual perspective system, the desire of very distant objects to axonometry is known even to the Renaissance perspective system. That is why, depicting a close-up plan axonometrically, the artist mentally removed himself to infinity, because only in this way was it possible to bring at least some scientific foundation to a parallel perspective system. While the art critic had only the mathematical apparatus and the methods of promising constructions born in the Renaissance, this was quite natural - he simply had no other possibilities.
Let us return, however, to the image of not too large and distant objects. Not only within the framework of the renaissance system of scientific perspective, but in all variants of the perceptual system of perspective, the image of such objects becomes very close to axonometric, which implies that such an image corresponds to natural visual perception (it is appropriate to recall that all variants of perceptual systems are characterized by small errors when depicting highly distant plans). That is why artists who did not know any theory of perspective constantly portrayed such objects in a parallel perspective system, completely trusting the natural vision of space.
As an example of the use of axonometry when portraying distant objects, we give another engraving by Hokusai “Amida Waterfall” (Fig. 29), where prominent characters from afar sit on three mats, shown strictly axonometrically. It should not be thought that Hokusai simply does not have the full ability to transfer space prospectively and therefore constantly turns to axonometry. On his other engravings, promising reductions are always visible, if they are appropriate. In them, he uses a free perspective system, like Cezanne. Even in the given engraving, where the depth of the depicted space is small (after all, an almost vertical wall is shown - a waterfall, and not a vast distance), the vegetation in the foreground is larger than in the far.
As analysis based on the mathematical theory of the perceptual perspective system convinces, parallel perspective (axonometry) is, as has been repeatedly stated, a legitimate particular case of this general system. It naturally arises twice: when portraying small and close objects and when transferring not too large and very distant objects. This property of axonometry - to be appropriate for very close and distant plans - probably contributed to the fact that in some cases it conquered the middle plan (in fact, having no right to it), as it happened, for example, in medieval Chinese art.
The use of axonometry as the main method for the prospective transmission of an event leads to specific compositional requirements. We show this by the example of icon painting. The icon should help the prayer in prayer, should give him the opportunity to concentrate all thoughts on God. Therefore, the image of God or saints on the icon should reduce to a minimum size the distance between the person standing in front of the icon and those to whom he prays. But then the axonometric image starting at the very bottom edge of the icon will be most suitable. Axonometry - a psychologically justified and at the same time scientific method of depicting the closest areas of space - causes the person looking at the icon to feel extremely close between him and the saint. These general considerations make the axonometry of the icon painting completely natural.Even if the icon painter knew the system of the Renaissance perspective, he would still turn to axonometry. Therefore, today, icons are written in the old days. This is not just a tribute to tradition, but also a necessity.
The appeal to axonometry posed for the icon painter a number of compositional problems. How to limit the depth of the space transmitted on the icon?
The simplest type of construction of a shallow, axonometric space at its core is the image of the saint on a plain background.
Sometimes such a surreal understanding of space gives way to the plot-justified. So, in miniatures of the Armenian Gospel of Queen Mlke (XII century., Venice) the evangelists are shown against the background of close veils, which immediately limits the depth of the transmitted space. The role of the Jerusalem wall on the “Crucifixion” icons is similar, where it also plays the role of the background. All these simple tricks not only allow you to limit the depth of the image, but also help you focus on the main thing.
Often, another method is used to limit the depth of a close axonometric space. The shallow space of the foreground is conveyed against the background of the architecture shown on the icon, reminiscent of theatrical decoration. As a rule, this is done in cases where an event is transmitted on the icon that requires the image of several figures. Here I would like to note two circumstances: architecture is also transmitted axonometrically (which is quite reasonable, since, as mentioned above, distant objects are visible axonometrically) and, in addition, the transition from the foreground to the architectural background does not occur gradually (as it would be shown in the Renaissance ), but spasmodically. The space is as if divided into two shallow axonometric layers. As a result, there is no feeling of great depth,leading the contemplating icon into the interior of the picture (as happens in Renaissance painting), and the applied compositional technique holds attention to the main, foreground. Sometimes, instead of architecture, the so-called “iconic slides” were used as the background bounding depth of the space. As an example of space limitations with an architectural background, one can cite a miniature depicting a writing evangelist, and a fragment of the icon “Carrying the Cross,” where “iconic slides” are the background.depicting a writing evangelist, and a fragment of the icon “Carrying the Cross”, where the background is “iconic slides”.depicting a writing evangelist, and a fragment of the icon “Carrying the Cross”, where the background is “iconic slides”.
Sometimes the abrupt transition from one axonometric space to another is masked. In the “Trinity” by Andrei Rublev, this separation of the two spaces was carried out extremely tactfully: the almost merged images of the wings of the angels created a kind of “veil” and hid the transition from a close foreground to a distant plan that contains important icons for understanding the meaning of the image — the structure, the Mamvrian oak and the mountains.
The shallow depth of the space transmitted on the icon imposed its limitations on the composition, requiring that the action (more precisely, the interaction of the characters depicted) be built parallel to the base of the picture. To illustrate this statement, we refer to the icon “Introduction to the Temple”. Here the procession of Joachim, Anna, Mary and those accompanying them, and the movement of the priest of the Jerusalem temple meeting Mary, are subordinated to the direction parallel to the lower edge of the icon. It could not be otherwise, since the depth of space (without taking into account the architectural plan) is insufficient to accommodate such a number of main characters in any other way (besides without overlapping).
The difficulty that would have arisen with a different compositional solution is evident from the difficulty with which and how incompletely the icon painter depicted the other participants in the procession. Their heads are shifted up, and the figures are partially obscured by the main characters. The second plot depicted on the same icon (not directly related to the main one), placed in the background, “The Apparition of the Angel of Mary”, is also subordinate to the direction parallel to the lower edge of the icon. The composition of other icons of the “Entrance into the Temple”, as well as such as the “Meeting”, “The Resurrection of Lazarus”, “The Crucifixion”, and many others, is completely analogous.
A deliberate and conscious desire to limit the depth of the transmitted space sometimes leads to completely unexpected compositional decisions. In the Baptism icons, the action always developed, as it was necessary, in a direction parallel to the base of the picture, however, the Jordan River flowed in this case from the depth of the space shown, and the depth should not be conveyed. The way out of this situation was found by the icon painters as follows: they depicted a certain section of the river located in the shallow space of the icon, and then the image of the river was interrupted. Mountains were shown to the left and to the right of this conditional horizon of water, and thus the shallow axonometric space of action was clearly limited. Sometimes this desire went so far that the icon painter turned the Jordan River into a small pond,confined to land where, in his opinion, the space of the icon ended.
The above examples convince us that although axonometry is an ideal way of conveying an individual close object, its use in cases where it is necessary to depict a multi-figure composition or some event can lead to specific difficulties. In addition, it is worth noting that axonometry is not a rigidly determined perspective system in iconography, but a promising foundation that fully allows the simultaneous use of reverse perspective, especially since the latter is genetically related to axonometry.
In conclusion, a few words about a specific form of visual art - animated images. Some frames cause confusion, where a renaissance perspective system is used when depicting a shallow space (for example, a passenger compartment of a car). This gives nothing but a severe distortion of natural vision, and if these distortions are not artistically conditioned, then they are inappropriate. Here, a parallel perspective should be used that correctly conveys natural visual perception. Why bring to the animation the flaws inherent in photographic optics, when it has a happy opportunity to correct them?
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