Art Principles and History

Form and Style

What is perspective?

Perspective is a system artists use to create the illusion of three-dimensional space. There are multiple different types of perspective techniques including single-point perspective and atmospheric perspective. Single-point perspective, also known as linear perspective, was invented in the fifteenth century by the Italian architect Filippo Brunelleschi. He used a system of parallel lines converging upon a central point called the vanishing point. Using this system, the space within a painting appears to be the continuation of real space.

Atmospheric perspective relies on color and form, rather than lines, to create an illusion of three-dimensional space. Using this technique, forms in the background are smaller and blurrier than objects in the foreground, forms overlap one another, and the sky is painted so that it transitions from blue to white.


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