Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Central Nave of Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Photograph Copyright ©2013 Loo Yen Yeo. All Rights Reserved.
Concept: Perspective (diminishing)

Description: The Dominican friars Fra Sisto Fiorentino and Fra Ristoro da Campi designed the central nave with a trompe-l'œil effect, seen upon stepping through the central portal of the main façade - the piers between the nave and the aisles get closer to each other towards the apse. This trick of diminishing perspective makes the nave look longer than it actually is.

The above photograph was taken with my back right up against the main portal doors. The below photograph was taken from the dais just slightly in front and to the right of the main altar. Compare the sense of distance and space, particularly between the counter-façade and the fabric screening at the other end of the nave closest to it. The optical properties of diminishing perspective and knowledge of how to manipulate it was known to Renaissance designers.

Photograph Copyright ©2013 Loo Yen Yeo. All Rights Reserved.

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