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The raison d’être for one-point perspective

By May 10th, 2022No Comments2 min read

It occurred to me that Leonardo had it all goin’ on with the whole one-point perspective thing in compositions like the Last Supper and the Adoration of the Magi — two favorites of mine since I was just a lad.  And by “favorites” I mean formative in a way that I haven’t the words to describe.

10-15-2013-14

So last year I allowed myself to be drawn in by the lure of one-point perspective and I painted Spirit Room and Franklin Studio, to name a couple examples. And I’m continuing this year to stay the course with the new painting I told you about two weeks ago.

But there’s something else that caught my attention as I reflected on my painting in process, especially when I considered it in the light of those earlier works. Namely, that the Forbidden Holy Ray of Inner Peace and Beneficent Luminosity apparently has a love affair with Simple Ol’ Down-and-Dirty One-Point Perspective. In other words, the light which maketh all things new spilleth into the foreground through the flung-open doors, flooding into the room, and upon arrival it breaketh down into very ray-like shafts. Or shaftth.

Maybe this is all easily explained by my always staying within the lines of my coloring books when I was a kid. I’m nearly positive that must be the reason, now that I think about it.

On your left, you’ll see what I’m talking about.  Here are the rays of light coming from the inner room in the new painting.  I’m not sure if it will stay this way through to the end, but for now it feels right, so I’m gonna run with it.

Dividing up the light like this works wonders for the composition: it breaks up the planes, keeps the large areas from dying and being static, creates an armature on which to hang otherwise unexplained color variations and provides points of interest for the eye to land on as it travels around the picture.  Those are some of the formal reasons that could explain why it works.

But, and perhaps more importantly, as long as these rays are Not Fully Explainable or Understood the painting will stay alive for me and, hopefully, for you the Viewer.