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Are There Rules in Art? - Unity
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Are There Rules in Art?
Geometrical Perspective
Aerial Perspective:
How many focal points?
What does art say?
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If the artwork were merely an imitation of nature, the best painters would all paint alike, and we could not recognize at a glance the paintings of our favorite. But a painting is not merely a report on nature. It is a representation of a perceived or invented order. (Cézanne said that he was seeking to paint something ‘parallel to nature’, and Klee: ‘ I do not paint the visible; I paint the invisible’. Zola referred to painting as ‘ nature seen through a temperament’.). The painting, surrounded by a conspicuous frame, is analogous to the scenario on which a drama is presented. And like a scene at the theatre, it must exhibit a logical and artistic coherence. This need for order distinguishes it from a casually chosen slice of our surroundings.

Fig. 24 (KH). This landscape consists exclusively of wedges of similar shape.

.What lends coherence and order to a painting? Besides the considerations of color we have discussed, the following elements help to unify a painting: the kind of brushstrokes, the repetition of shapes of lines and forms (figs20-22, 25), a wekk-defined direction of illumination (fig. 21), and a harmonious arrangement of the components (good composition).

Fig. 25 (Li K’é-jan)

A discernible direction of the illumination was introduced (reinvented?) in the Renaissance, and again neglected after the arrival of impressionism.