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What is it?
Foreshortening is a technique used in drawing and painting to give the illusion of 3-dimensional space. It is an important tool for representing figures or objects convincingly within a spatial framework.
When was it used?
The ability to create spatial illusion was a major technical innovation of the Renaissance. Starting in the 1430's, Alberti's explanations of perspective techniques opened to painters the means of depicting their subjects in a life-like manner.
Foreshortening used in painting triptych
"My Search for the Truth"
by contemporary painter and printmaker
Why is foreshortening important?
Having acquired the technical skill to create space on an apparently flat surface, painters have spent much of the subsequent 500 years deciding whether or not, or how deeply, to violate the picture plane. From Michelangelo's dangling feet in the 16th century to Kenneth Noland's vibrating stripes in the 20th, to use--or not to use--the illusion of depth has continued to torture painters' imaginations.
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P&P: Ash Can School
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P&P: Conceptual Art
P&P: depression glass
P&P: Iconography & Iconology
P&P: New Image painting
P&P: Newcomb pottery
P&P: Pop Art
ABOUT THIS FEATURE
In the art & antiques world, experts bandy about arcane words as though they were part of everyone's standard vocabulary. To a fledgling collector, this practice can be maddening. In PEDIGREE & PROVENANCE, BIDDINGTON'S picks a word or phrase and gives it a good, hard going over: defining it, explaining it and showing how to use it.
Glance regularly at PEDIGREE & PROVENANCE, and soon you'll be able to toss those obscure phrases back at the experts with confidence and agility and be fully prepared to bid on items at BIDDINGTON'S upmarket, online art & antiques auctions.
CREATIVE PROCESS--Artists' Studio Visits
JAKE BIDDINGTON'S INVESTING--Financial Advice for Art Collectors
BIDDINGTON'S BENTLEY--Travel for the Art & Antiques Connoisseur MY ART--Art for Kids