Raphael - Depth



When I studied abroad, I went to Milan for a weekend trip and I ended up going to a museum that had the painting, The Marriage of the Virgin, by Raphael. I instantly fell in love because of the way it was painted. Raphael uses many techniques in all of his paintings to give us the feeling of depth. In the picture, The Marriage of the Virgin, Raphael uses the z-axis, which shows that the Church is located away from the font of the picture. He makes it look like the Church is higher up, along with farther away. He also uses relative size because we can approximately tell how far away the Church is from the people. I remember looking at this picture and getting the feeling that I was looking out a window and looking upon this picture, with the people right in front of me and the Church farther in the background. He uses the people as a close up, and the Church as a long shot. This makes us interpret that the object in the background is farther away. Another technique that Raphael uses is forced perspective. He uses lines that are horizontal in the picture that go from the people to the Church. They start to get smaller and smaller and start to disappear. Raphael is making us think the image is getting smaller, which makes it look farther away. Raphael also uses aerial perspective in which he makes the highly (the dark yet brighter) saturated colors closer to us, and used less saturated (less bright, neutral) colors farther away us, enhancing the illusion of depth.


Nice use of a different medium than film or television! The Renaissance was a really important time for images in western art and society because of the laws that were made at that time regarding perspective. Medieval art relied heavily on overlapping figures to suggest depth in the frame but artists like Brunelleschi and Massacio dabbled in perspective and vanishing points to make the art more realistic before laws of perspective were made and published.

Ditto on the above comment. Sometimes its easy to forget that the same rules of visualization that apply to video also apply to still images. More importantly, those rules were developed 500 years before video even existed, then simply adopted by those who have mastered the medium we're studying.

I'd like to bring attention to the way Raphael tapered off the upper corners. Perhaps it's just an illusion, but it makes the building seem even farther away, giving the whole image more depth. Is it possible Raphael was going for something like that when he painted this?

Nice to use this image as demonstrating depth. It gives me a new idea of depth. In this image, it seems like depth separate the world into two. The front part and the back part. In here, church is the object while human is the subject. Without depth, church and people are in the same position,I think my concentration will be on the church instead of humans. I know nothing about art, so hopefully I didn't misunderstand the concept of this image.

I love this painting too! Last semester I studied Raphael quite a bit and this is a great example of his work because he and many other great Renaissance artists were completely obsessed with perspective and z-axis in their paintings. Here he certainly seems to master the effect with the vantage point bare and in the center of the painting. That's so cool you got to see it in person!

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This page contains a single entry by lawho010 published on March 10, 2013 5:35 PM.

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Depth: The Lord of The Rings is the next entry in this blog.

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