The concept of giving 3D sense to flat representations (drawings, paintings, photos and films) has been progressively and deliberately re-examined and considered since the beginning of time. The rock paintings of Altamira (Spain) and Font-de-Gaume (France), for example, provide a fascinating example of the muscular systems of large herbivores. In the Lascaux cave (France), the shape of the rocks has been used to support and even accentuate the painting’s form. All ancient art everywhere has, in some way or another, used depth and perspective in its representations, often awkwardly or confused, erroneous, often using more or less shared social codes, but always with the objective of understanding the real world beyond the limits of flat representation.
Formalized understanding of the mechanisms of Quattrocento perspective has largely enabled artists to move away from flat media to new, more accurate methods which have been used widely, often with competing artistic objectives and technical abilities. Complete perspective has therefore become an inseparable part of all pictures to the point of no longer even being a point of discussion: whether boring or shocking, controversial or exposing, it is no longer obvious because it is expected.
The dawn of photography, which by definition respects the canons of perspective, the undoubted problem of traditional representation, allowed artists to move away from this new norm which, over three centuries, had governed real-life representation. ...