Early Theory of Perspective
- The world is flat and ends at the horizon.
- As you get closer to the horizon you get smaller and smaller until….
- You fall off the edge and disappear…
- And that’s why it’s called the “vanishing point.”
This week’s Illustration Friday challenge is the word “Theory.” Since I’ve been re-learning perspective and reading about the progression of artists’ attempts to create the illusion of depth and space, I thought I’d propose my own history of what the earliest thoughts about perspective might have been.
My continuing exploration of perspective has led to me making a fool of myself as I walk around, closing one eye and putting my hands up to match the angles on buildings and trees as I look for vanishing points and check how angles and lines relate to one another.
I tried to demonstrate to some co-workers as we went out foraging for lunch how the horizon is relative to the individual viewing it, not a fixed location. Nobody was going for it though, either trying to prove me wrong or having more important things to think about, like whether they were in the mood for soup or salad.
Here’s what my favorite book (so far) on perspective says about the horizon:
Eye level rises and falls with the level of your eye, wheher you are down near the floor, sitting, standing, in a tall building, or in an airplane. The eye-level plane extends an infinite distance in all directions and at a remote distance coincides with the horizon, which the eye level is often called.
I can’t really explain why this concept so intrigues me, but I just can’t get over it. I loved the way Brittney Gilbert, writer of CBS5.com’s blog “Eye on Blogs,” titled her link to my recent post: “The Horizon is You-Dependent.”
It just makes me wonder what other facts of life that I’ve taken for granted are only perceptual, not actual. Is reality completely subjective?