Of Heaven and Earth: Glossary

Allegory– The representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form.

Chiaroscuro– Pictorial representation in terms of light and shade without regard to color.

Gesture– The representation of an object’s or figure’s position.

Linear Perspective relates to the mathematical system of creating objects that are created three-dimensionally on a two-dimensional surface. It is called “linear” perspective because objects and figures and space are re-created in a realistic manner through the use of intersecting lines drawn horizontally and vertically. There are three types of linear perspective. They include one point perspective, two-point perspective, and three-point perspective. All of the perspectives include a horizon line and a stationary point (the position of the observer).

One Point Perspective– one point that all lines radiate from

Two-Point Perspective– two points from which an object’s lines radiate from; the sides of the object vanish to one of two vanishing points on the horizon line. An object’s vertical lines do not relate to the perspective rules of the horizontal lines. By changing the vanishing points of the object, one can make increase or decrease the size of the object.

Three-Point Perspective– two vanishing points somewhere on the horizon; however, unlike two-point perspective, there also exists a vanishing point above or below the horizon line that the vertical lines disappear to.

Mannerism– A style in the fine arts developed principally in Europe during the 16th century, chiefly characterized by a complex perspective system, elongation of forms and proportions, strained gestures or poses of figures, lack of clear perspective and intense, often strident color.

Naturalism– treatment of forms, colors, space, etc. as they appear or might appear in nature.

Neo-classical Painting-A late 18th and early 19th century style in architecture, decorative art and fine art, based on the imitation of surviving classical models and types

Symbolism– The art or practice of using symbols especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations: as

Vanishing Point– A point that receding parallel lines appear to converge to. It is used in linear perspective in relation to a stationary point (the placement of the observer). Objects seem to disappear at the vanishing point.

For additional resources, see the Of Heaven and Earth teacher guide.