Depth Exploration

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Objective: Understand techniques for presenting depth in artwork.

Materials: Printed copies of The Announcement of the Virgin's Death and The Flagellation

  1. Look at the images below (click to make them larger). For each artwork, discuss techniques used by the artist to give a sense of depth.
  2. Look at Escher's Depth (Magic of M.C. Escher #269). What techniques does Escher use to portray depth?
  3. On a copy of Duccio’s The Announcement of the Virgin's Death, notice that lines which head away from the viewer are diagonal. Use a pen and a ruler to extend all of these lines.[1] Do the same for the receeding lines in Piero della Francesca’s The Flagellation (painted 150 years later). What difference do you detect?

Handin: A sheet with answers to the questions, and marked up copies of Announcement and Flagellation.

  1. "There has also been a most unfortunate fashion for drawing lines over Piero's pictures with the purpose of exposing their alleged underlying geometrical structure...trying to find perspective schemes seems to me like trying to extract the sunbeams from cucumbers." From J.V. Field, Piero Della Francesca