Familiarity with Gauging Affected the Way People Saw Pictures

Familiarity with Gauging Affected the Way People Saw Pictures

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Familiarity with Gauging Affected the Way People Saw Pictures Standard sized containers date only from the nineteenth century, so quick calculation of volumes of barrels, sacks, piles of grain, etc., called gauging, was a condition of business. In the 15th century German merchants used complex prepared rulers. An Italian used geometry and , and Piero's De abaco gives methods and exercises for these computations. As with proportion, according to Baxandall, skill at gauging affected art. The ability of a merchant to break down complex shapes into simpler geometrical units is similar to the way a painter or sculptor analyzes shapes. Painters and merchants had received the same mathematical education; this was the geometry they knew and used. So the literate public had the same geometrical skills with which to view paintings, and the painters knew this. We'll see a good example in Piero's
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Unformatted text preview: Vision of Constantine. Six Paintings by Piero In this section we'll look at six paintings by Piero and, for each, try to point out anything of geometric interest. Nativity Slide 14-2a: The Nativity , Piero della Francesca, 1472-4 Square Format Arrests Motion : Remember from our first session how the square format tended to make a scene static and solemn? Arnheim notes that here the square format turns story of the Adoration into a solemn group portrait. Axes of Symmetry : We have noted earlier, in Raphael's Knights Dream and Munch's Sick Girl , for example, that the axes of symmetry of square format often used to divide zones. Here, the central vertical divides scene into two groups; angelic musicians on left, Holy Family and shepherds on right. The two groups do not interact....
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Familiarity with Gauging Affected the Way People Saw Pictures

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