da vinci's perspective - Travis Mcvadon

This is a short gallery showing off some of Leonardo DA Vinci's work and the way he was able to use spatial perspective.  He was able to pull off depth of field illusions to make things look almost three-dimensional.  He made many sculptures as well, but this shows off what he did on just a flat medium. 

What we have here is the last supper of Jesus with his Apostles before he was to be put on the cross. The use of angles in the ceiling, walls, and table provides us with a depth of the hall and width of the table. The contrast of the white table and the color of the people along with shadows gives us feeling that they are indeed behind the table and not just part of it.
This piece of artwork depicts the wise men referred to as the Magi visiting the virgin Mary and Jesus. This piece was never completed, but you can still get a depth of space from the forms. The shadowing in the staircases and archways in the background give a lot of depth. The sizes of the people that are not the focal foreground are smaller in stature as it gives the illusion of them being further away. There are some horses in the top right that you can see would have really looked three-dimensional had he finished them and completed the backgrounds behind them.
This piece shows John the Baptist as he performs a baptism of Jesus. Leonardo shared painting duty on this one, but there is still much in the way of how space was used to give us that feeling of depth. The figures in the foreground and background are of different sizes to focus your eyes on the foreground characters. The sizes of the landscape in the background and then having a pile of stones closer to us to make that background look much farther away. The forest on the right with tall trees looks to be much further away and the dark contrast pushes it back. Where the tree on the left looks to be right behind the angels.
The piece of artwork you are looking at here is part of many anatomy pages Leonard had drawn. As an artist knowing the anatomy can be very important depending on your subjects. He was able to use bold lines and light shadowing to give a three-dimensional look to the figure on the page. He also used angles to give more depth that would not be as prominent if the figure was just standing straight on as you can see in the small image on the top right.
Here is another sketch, but this time it is the anatomy of a horse leg. Again, he used bold lines and shadowing to provide that three-dimensional view. The leg on the bottom left looks flatter than the others due to the angle. He was still able to show some definition in the muscles with the shading, but compared to the other legs with more dynamic angles it looks a little flat.
The image is of a woman on her wedding day. The spatial perspective in this painting is not as dynamic as some others. The angle she is tilted with her shoulders and the shadowing under her chin give us that sense of depth, but her hair and the tree behind her look really close and far away at the same time. The background in the bottom right really shows of the space with angles, overlapping, contrast, and size variations. This really makes her portrait stand out along with the colors.
This is the reversed side of the Ginevra de' Benci painting. It is showing a juniper branch encircled with laurel and palm. This is supposed to be a symbolic depiction of her name. While the ribbon wrapping around the objects makes them appear to be in the same space the sizes and angles make them look like they are all on different planes. Then the night sky in the background and the moon by the size and placement look to be very far away in the top right.
This one is supposed to be a self-portrait of Leonardo himself. There is some speculation to this though. As far as space used visually it looks to be three-dimensional. The nose and lips appear to be close to us and the eyes are set back further. The use of his line work with bold outlines and fine shadowing really make this thing pop. This one is not as detailed as some of his work, but it still looks more like a photograph than a drawing.
This is a sketch done as a study for a large painting that has been lost to us. This piece was part going to be part of a battle scene. The angle that the guy on the left was drawn with all the shadowing in the crevices and wrinkles really give him detail that gives off that impression of depth. The guy on the right has very little shading and is basically just a profile, so you lose that depth. There is still a little there, but it just makes the one on the left stand out that much more.
This was another study for the painting Battle of Anghiari that was lost to us. It does not look like he was able to complete this sketch and it looks flat compared to others. You can see in the line work and the shadowing that he was going to look more dynamic. The shoulders were going to be at an angle even though the head was in profile. The bold lines before the shadowing are there and you can see some depth in the mouth, eyes, and neck starting to come out.
Credits: All media
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