Pictorial space


Pictorial space is the illusory space in a painting or other work of two-dimensional art that seems to recede backward into depth from the picture plane, giving the illusion of distance.<br><br>The birth of the modern concept of pictorial space can, in part, be traced back to 14th century serial narratives that depict a shallow, and sometimes cluttered landscape, such as in Barnaba da Modena&#39;s Adoration of the Child. In these narrative paintings the artist would attempt to &quot;tell a story&quot;, but was limited by the amount of space on the canvas, and by the number of &quot;events&quot; that could be shown together before the viewer became confused.<br><br>Later, a style known as a polyptych took the single frame of the serial narrative and divided the canvas into multiple frames in which more of the story could be told. This can be seen in Lippo di Benivieni&#39;s The Crucifixion.<br><br>In the 15th century, through the development of linear and aerial perspective, artists found new freedom and space in which to tell their narrative in a single pictorial space. The added depth provide by these new techniques is sometimes referred to as illusionism.<br>