Painterly Perspective and Piety: Religious Uses of the Vanishing Point, from the 15th to the 18th Century

Overview

While the Renaissance is generally perceived to be a secular movement, the majority of large artworks executed in 15th century Italy were from ecclesiastical commissions. Because of the nature of primarily basilica-plan churches, a parishioner's view was directed by the diminishing parallel lines formed by the walls of the structure. Appearing to converge upon a mutual point, this resulted in an artistic phenomenon known as the vanishing point. As applied to ecclesiastical artwork, the Catholic Vanishing Point ...

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2008 Trade paperback Illustrated. New. No dust jacket as issued. Book is in pristine condition. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 312 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: ... General/trade. The Friends of Art Bookshop is a non-profit organization with proceeds donated to Fine Art student scholarships. Most orders shipped same or next business day! Read more Show Less

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Overview

While the Renaissance is generally perceived to be a secular movement, the majority of large artworks executed in 15th century Italy were from ecclesiastical commissions. Because of the nature of primarily basilica-plan churches, a parishioner's view was directed by the diminishing parallel lines formed by the walls of the structure. Appearing to converge upon a mutual point, this resulted in an artistic phenomenon known as the vanishing point. As applied to ecclesiastical artwork, the Catholic Vanishing Point (CVP) was deliberately situated upon or aligned with a given object—such as the Eucharist wafer or Host, the head of Christ or the womb of the Virgin Mary—possessing great symbolic significance in Roman liturgy. Masaccio's fresco painting of the Trinity (circa 1427) in the Florentine church of Santa Maria Novella, analyzed in physical and symbolic detail, provides the first illustration of a consistently employed linear perspective within an ecclesiastical setting. Leonardo's Last Supper, Venaziano's St. Lucy Altarpiece, and Tome's Transparente illustrate the continuation of this use of liturgical perspective.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786435050
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/8/2008
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

The late John F. Moffitt authored, edited or translated numerous books about art history. He was an art history professor at New Mexico State University.

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Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction: Picturing Perspective 7

1 The Historical Emergence of Linear Perspective 15

2 Instrumental Sources for Leon Battista Alberti's Velo 33

3 Masaccio and the Functions of Religious Imagery in His Time 46

4 Recovering the Original Physical Situation of Masaccio's Trinity Chapel 65

5 The Symbolic Unity of Masaccio's Trinity 93

6 Toward a More Balanced Interpretation of Masaccio's Trinity 107

7 Seeing the Host in Art and Architecture 124

8 Liturgical Perspective in the Context of Scenographic Architecture 150

9 The Case for Uterine Perspective 167

10 Host-Worship and the Spanish Custodias Procesionales 183

11 Sculpting Divine Vision in Narciso Tome's Transparente 211

12 Epilogue: The Demise of Pious Perspective 243

Chapter Notes 271

Bibliography 299

Index 309

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