Vanishing point

DEFINITION

In linear perspective, the point on the horizon line where parallel lines appear to meet. It is a trick of the eye, and an example would be the appearance that railroad tracks appear to be increasingly closer together as they recede. Many artists consider the creation of vanishing points when doing the preliminary planning for their artwork. However, other artists beginning in American art with Hudson River School painter, Thomas Cole, deliberately defy the concept. Cole&#39;s early 19th-Century canvases were shocking because they had eye-catching activity in many parts of the canvases, which was a violation of the European landscape-painting requirement of having a Vanishing Point. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms". James Flexner, "History of American Painting", V. III, p. 38-39. (LPD) <br><br>In linear perspective, a position on a horizon where lines or rays between near and distant places appear to converge (come together). In order to produce an illusion of depth in a two-dimensional representation of space, artists sometimes use one, two, or more vanishing points. Employing this method might seem to contradict a strictly mathematical understanding of space: parallel lines (as might form the edges of a straight path) meet at the vanishing point in a picture of a distant place, even though such lines could not meet in the actual distance. Although an artist marks vanishing points in pictures to determine the directions of receding lines, s/he is apt to remove them before completing a picture, because vanishing points are merely points of reference. Where would a vanishing point be placed in a drawing of this railroad scene?When you see something getting farther and farther away from you, it appears to be smaller and smaller. If it continues to recede, it eventually disappears; vanishing. That sensation lies at the core of this term.Thanks, Bonny Pickens, for your advice on this article. -MDInternet resources concerned with vanishing point: "Chalkboard" on linear perspective, and other drawing skills. You&#39;ll find excellent graphics and text explanations on each of its pages, including: Introduction and some hints about using linear perspective, and Exteriors (one point); horizon lines and vanishing points. Chalkboard is produced by Ralph Larmann, on the art faculty member at the University of Evansville, IN. Also see erasure, focal point, one-point perspective, optical illusion, point, and two-point perspective.

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