Accidental perspective: the world as seen from the corner

  • Accidental perspective: the world as seen from the corner

    Accidental perspective . Two words capable of throwing students into a panic ...

    Yet "accidental" simply means unexpected, random . Because it is precisely that perspective that you get when you put in front of the scene without paying attention to place the prospective framework parallel to the front wall.


    The result is a perspective dynamic and natural as the most spontaneous things.Nothing to do with the solemn balance of Renaissance central perspective in which we have used Leonardo & Co.


    During the Renaissance, however, they began to timidly appear some items rotated with respect to the perspective grid . An abnormal position that requires a representation with two vanishing points.


    This is the case, for example, open doors made with wood inlays for the studio of Federico da Montefeltro at Urbino and Gubbio . These, opening in non-orthogonal directions to the prospective framework, are necessarily represented in the accidental perspective.


    In the sixteenth century the studies on perspective are beginning to deal with unintended watching applying to objects still arranged with respect to the scene, or coming to hypothesize entire structures at an angle of 45 °.

    This is the case of studies Vredeman Hans de Vries , as examples manual use of perspective in all its variables.


    But still need to wait a century to witness the systematic use of the accidental perspective. In the late Baroque age , in fact, the corner vision begins to be used widely for his dynamic and dramatic effect.

    And it is in the fields of theater that takes this step. With the race of Galli Bibbiena , set designers and painters, the representation of architectural space becomes complex and spectacular.


    In the same period (mid-eighteenth century) Giovanni Battista Piranesi accounted its magnificent prisons or its whims of Roman ruins with bold glimpses of great depth.

    It is the triumph of the corner view, charming and surprising.


    Even the contemporary views of Canaletto , often set on the central perspective though asymmetric, sometimes show an overall view angle that makes them extremely fresh and modern.


    Scenes that have spontaneous flavor of ' photo framing . And, on the other hand, Canaletto studied them with his camera obscura, a device that allowed him to trace the contours of the real image of the space creating his famous " scaraboti ".


    From the style of photography derives also the use of the accidental perspective at theImpressionists : a century after Canaletto, the city (but also interior) is observed in its color and light effects according to the original angles particularly dynamic.

    Here are some examples of Claude Monet ...


    ... Of Camille Pissarro ...


    ... Of Edgar Degas ...


    ... And most of Gustave Caillebotte .


    The angle of vision, especially in the case of interior, allows to create the spatial depth also represent a very limited portion of space.

    It is an accidental use of perspective that he uses the Danish  Carl Vilhelm Holsøe (1863-1935). Realized, as well, intimate images and silent with female figures oftenseen from the back .


    Vincent Van Gogh , however, use the corner vision to create distorting effects on the objects represented. The chairs, for example, have the forcing perspective that increase the expressiveness.


    The same strain is present in the interior of Henri Matisse . Open windows on the landscape seen through a very nonchalant accidental perspective ...


    It seems, however, to recover the wide baroque spatiality the Italian Felice Casoratiwith his amazing little girl playing on the red carpet of 1912.


    From the same period are the representations of utopias Futurist Antonio Sant'Elia : magnificent buildings designed by angular cuts that show all the modernity and power.


    It is evident that for the architectural design accidental perspective is less than ideal: it gives a natural and realistic idea of space and allows you to read the structural and volumetric complexity.

    Just look at the sketches for the famous Casa Kaufamann (known as Fallingwater) by Frank Lloyd Wright.


    In the same years Edward Hopper uses the accidental perspective to recreateanonymous geometric spaces with their inhabitants spied absorbed from unusual angles.


    In this excursion you can not miss the photography and in particular to the architectural theme. The images of Gabriele Basilico , for example, show so dry buildings seen from the square geometries accidentally perspective.

    A city metaphysics in shades of gray with corners clearly drawn by the contrast between the surfaces perpendicular or changes in the diverging of the windows.


    Accidental perspective, therefore, to use Erwin Panofsky , is the "symbolic form" of a way of seeing the world without trying to enclose it in the perimeter of the image.

    The two vanishing points on the horizon line come out from the scene suggesting ahorizontal expansion , an opposite centrifugal force to the centripetal of Renaissance perspective.