Perspective Exploration

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Time-45.svg

Objective: Learn to identify the horizon line and vanishing points in perspective drawings.

Materials: Printed copies of Inside St. Peter's, Tower of Babel, and House of Stairs

Perspective

  1. Find the horizon line and single vanishing point in Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper.
  2. Run the perspective applet at http://mathforum.org/workshops/sum98/participants/sanders/TryPersp.gsp.html and get a feeling for the behavior of a cube in two-point perspective.
  3. Draw a horizon line, put two vanishing points on it, and draw a few blocks in two-point perspective.

Zeniths and Nadirs

When vertical lines converge to a vanishing point above the picture, the point is called a zenith. When vertical lines converge to a vanishing point below the picture, the point is called a nadir.

  1. Where is the horizon line in Inside St. Peter's? Find the left and right vanishing points on the horizon. Find the nadir.
  2. Where is the horizon line in Tower of Babel? Find the left and right vanishing points on the horizon. Find the nadir.
  3. Find the zenith in New Year's Greeting Card (Well).

Vanishing Points

  1. Gallery has a vanishing point at its center. For which parts of the picture is this vanishing point on the horizon? A zenith? A nadir?
  2. What's going on in House of Stairs? There is a vanishing point in an arched doorway near the top of the picture. Find a curl-up that thinks the point is on the horizon, another that thinks the point is a nadir, and another that thinks the point is a zenith.
  3. What's going on in Up and Down?
  4. What's going on in Relativity? Explain.

Handin: Labeled images and answers to all questions.