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Proceedings Paper

Cross-Sectional Drawing Techniques And The Artist
Author(s): William A. Berry
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Paper Abstract

Although Democritus, a Greek pholosopher of the fifth century B.C. described the use of cross-sections in analyzing a solid form, this method was not extensively developed in art until the Renaissance. The earliest treatise documenting the integration of the cross-section and linear perspective is Piero della Francesca's De prospective pingendi (c. 1480), in which a drawing of the human head is mathematically conceived and plotted by means of cross-section contours. Piero's method anticipates contemporary biostereometric techniques and current theories of visual perception. Outside of theoretical treatises the complete cross-section rarely occurs in art, though certain pictorial elements such as the religious halo can be interpreted as cross-sections. The chan-ging representation of the halo in art of the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods parallels the development of the artist's concepts and techniques for representing form and space. During the Renaissance and Baroque periods the widespread use of contour hatching, a drawing technique based on the cross-section, indicates that the cross-section concept has played a greater role in pictorial representation than has generally been recognized.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 July 1980
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 0166, NATO Symposium on Applications of Human Biostereometrics, (29 July 1980); doi: 10.1117/12.956928
Show Author Affiliations
William A. Berry, Boston University School of Visual Arts (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0166:
NATO Symposium on Applications of Human Biostereometrics
A. M. Coblentz; Robin E. Herron, Editor(s)

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