New York Perspective (10.30.08)

This morning, waiting to cross the street at 22nd and 5th looking south, I noticed something so very New York yet so often over looked — single point perspective. Maybe it’s nerdy, but I find single point perspective to be an interesting one.

NYC Single-point Perspective

NYC Single-point Perspective

The use of perspective (lines all leading to a single point to give depth and scale) in art and design was first used in Renesaince Italy (around 1415) by guys like Bruneleschi, Donatello, and Masaccio. The mathmatics these guys laid out was furthered in estetics by Leonardo Da Vinci, who noted that along with this convergence of lines, there is a shift in clarity and even color as one visualizes farther and farther away. Thus, his use of vibrant colors and crisp lines in the foreground with softer colors and broader strokes for background.

Da Vinci once said, “Practice must always be built upon strong theory, of which perspective is the signpost and the gateway, and without perspective nothing can be done well in the matter of painting.” Seems like this quote could have some broader implications as well.

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