Monday, March 10, 2014

Fantasy Synagogue

One of the great discoveries of the Renaissance was artistic perspective. Ancient artists used a kind of perspective but the lines did not converge, they were parallel so the illusion of reality was not complete. Renaissance perspective used the same "vanishing points" that architectural and computer graphics do nowadays. In order to demonstrate the magic of perspective, Renaissance artists would create imaginary cityscapes full of angles and towers and open squares and palaces. Some of these scenes inspired, or were inspired by, real architecture. This tiny scene shows one of those perspective-driven cityscapes, including a domed religious building whose Jewish-star upper windows reveal that it is a synagogue. Perspective, like science, works no matter what religion you believe in, or don't believe in.

Brown ink in technical pen on sketchbook page, 6 1/2" x 3 1/4", February 1977. Heavily restored in Photoshop. Click for larger view.

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