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Perspective and Illusion

14 15 DrawIng machInes tricks of the trade Today we are so used to the simple act of picking up a camera and pressing the button that we sometimes forget just how hard it was and still is for painters to capture the scene in front of them. Not long after the invention of perspective all sorts of clever systems began to appear to help them ever better imitate perceived reality. By the early 16th century various methods and devices were appearing across Europe shown here are those illustrated by Drer in his Underweysung der messung. Sketches made in this way, whether by grid, or on glass, were then transferred to canvas. Later in the century another device, the camera obscura, became popular. This used a lens, pinhole, or mirror to dimly project the world onto a canvas in a dark space often requiring the artist to put his head into a cloth blackout. Used widely by painters like Vermeer in the 17th century, it suited highcontrast subjects. Four pictures from Drers Underweysung, 1525, 1538. Opposite Carefully plotting points to correctly foreshorten the image of a lute. Left Creating a painting on glass from a fixed eye position. Below A draftsman using a gridnet to draw a foreshortened nude figure. Bottom Employing a distant viewpoint perspective device invented by Jacob de Keyser.
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