Reverse perspective

From Academic Kids

Reverse perspective also called inverse perspective or Byzantine perspective, is a technique of perspective drawing where the further the objects are, the larger they are drawn. The lines diverge against the horizon, rather than converge as in linear perspective. Technically, the vanishing points are placed outside the painting with the illusion that they are "in front of" the painting.

The name Byzantine perspective comes from the fact that a use of this kind of perspective is observed in earlier Byzantine and Russian Orthodox icons. It is difficult to say now what were the intentions of the ancient iconographers, but a common interpretation is that the point of perspective is on the viewer, hence The Almighty looks upon him, rather than the viewer looks upon The Almighty. It displays the spiritual rather than the physical reality.

An alternative interpretation would be that as God is omnipresent, his view rather than scanning out from a point, converges from everywhere. According to this, the reverse perspective would be imitative of the conception and or sensorium of God.

A practical effect of reverse perspective is that since our vision has its greatest acuity at the focus, a visual representation which enlarges things which are not at the center, will tend to even out the lack of discernment of detail, thus aiding in the envisionment of the image as a gestalt.

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