Point of view

DEFINITION

A position or angle from which something is observed or considered, and the direction of the viewer's gaze; a standpoint which is either a physical location or one in the mind. Examples of the points of view possible in a picture are: from below, from inside, from outside, from above, and so on. A manner of viewing things; an attitude. The attitude or outlook of a narrator or character in a piece of literature, a movie, or another art form. In discussing art, to use the common synonym "perspective" may be confusing.Examples of points of view:Mesopotamia, Palace of King Ashurnasirpal II of Assyria, Nimrud, entrance to the east suite, One of a Pair of Lamassu, c. 875 BCE, carved stone, British Museum, London. However it is displayed in a museum, in its original context, a lamassu is the guardian of a doorway, integral with a wall. For this reason, it is not an entirely freestanding sculpture. It was carved as if it were two reliefs joined at right angles. These guys always have five legs, because that's the way lamassu can present the correct number of legs when seen from each of the two points of view implied by two relief sculptures; two legs when seen from the front, and four when seen from the side. See a larger detail of the legs. Additionally, the side view shows legs in motion, whild the frontal view shows the creature at rest. See Mesopotamian art. Maurits Cornelis Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972), Other World, 1947, color wood engraving and woodcut printed from three blocks in black, red-brown, and green; image 12 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches (31.8 x 26.1 cm), sheet 39.2 x 32.9 cm; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA. Depending upon which of this room's three windows we look out, we find our point of view is completely different. See optical illusion.And about point of view: "I live in a very small house but my windows look out on a very large world." Confucius (550-478 BCE), Chinese religious leader. "The artist, like the God of creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails." James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish writer. See modernism. Also see aerial or bird's-eye view, anamorphosis, attitude, bias, di sotto in s?, fish-eye lens, focal point, herringbone perspective, irony, linear perspective, obsession, panorama, propaganda, refraction, telephoto, wide-angle, and worm's-eye view.

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