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Unit 3: Representations of Space in Art 3ยบ ESO Visual Arts Teacher Simone

Observe the painting  “The Lunch” by Claude Monet  How do you feel looking at this work?

 Monet transports us to a reality of SPACE. SPACE has

3 dimensions, that’s to say:

 LENGTH  WIDTH  DEPTH  In reality, the painting is a plane, or a surface with



Resources to represent space ď‚— Artists use different resources in 2-dimensional works

to recreate the sensation of depth and represent an illusionary space.

ď‚— In a certain way, artists try to replicate a realistic

vision that the spectator could have of the place.

1. CONICAL PERSPECTIVE  Conical perspective is a technique used by artists to

represent 3 dimensional space.

 It simulates how objects recede further in the


2. VARIATIONS IN SIZE ď‚— Objects close to us appear big, and objects far from us

appear small.

2. VARIATIONS IN SIZE ď‚— Artists change the size of objects in order to create the

effect of a three-dimensional scene.

3. SUPERPOSITION  The superposition is when one

object covers part of another.

 Our brain interpets that the

object that is covered is FARTHER AWAY.

 The object that covers is


3. SUPERPOSITION ď‚— Artists use superposition in order to create the effect

of 3-dimensional space.

4. POSITION IN THE PLANE  The inferior border of an


artwork is considered the FOREGROUND (the nearest part)

 The superior border of an

artwork is considered the BACKGROUND (the fathest part)


5. COLOR DYNAMICS ď‚— If we observe a

landscape, we can observe that the colors lose intensity as they recede in the distance, where they blend with the particles in the air.

ď‚— Compare

5. COLOR DYNAMICS ď‚— Artists simulate

this atmospheric phenomenon by giving less definition to forms in the distance and giving their colors less intensity.


 Light, which allows us to see objects, has a secondary

effect– shadow.

 An illuminated object will have zones of both light

and shadow, which augments a three-dimensional effect.

6. LIGHT AND SHADOW  Chiaroscuro: is a technique to recreate the

progression of light to shadow (light to dark) of an object.

 This helps give an effect of three dimensions.

6. LIGHT AND SHADOW ď‚— Similarly to color, the

contrast between light and shadow become less intense the further in the distance they are.

ď‚— Objects in general

become more grey.

OBSERVE THE PAINTINGS  Which elements to “represent space” have the artists


“Las Hilanderas” by Velázquez

“Muchacha de espaldas” by Dalí

“El carro de heno” by El Bosco

Unit 3  
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