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Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson

2 Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Introduction  We perceive scale in relation to our own size  Art objects created on a monumental scale appear larger than they would be in normal life  Art objects created on a human scale correspond to the size of things as they actually exist  Small-scale objects appear smaller than our usual experience of them in the real world  Usually, an artist ensures that all the parts of an object are in proportion to one another  But discordant proportions can express specific meanings

3 Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Scale  Artist and designers make conscious choices about the scale of their work when they consider the message they want to put across  A small-scale work implies intimacy  Large-scale works can be experienced by groups of viewers and usually communicate big ideas directed at a large audience  Practical considerations can affect an artist's decision about scale too  Cost, time it will take to execute the piece, and demands that a specific location may place on the work are all factors

4 Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Scale and Meaning  Usually a monumental scale indicates heroism or other epic virtues  War monuments, for example, often feature figures much larger than life-size in order to convey the bravery of the warriors

5 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Interactive Exercises: Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion Scale and Meaning Click to start the Interactive Exercises

6 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson 1.126 Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Mistos (Match Cover), 1992. Steel, aluminum, fiber-reinforced plastic, painted with polyurethane enamel, 68' x 33' x 43' 4”. Collection La Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain

7 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Mistos (Match Cover)  Uses monumental scale to poke fun while expressing admiration for the little things of everyday life  Oldenburg transforms the essence of everyday things as he magnifies their sculptural form  Oldenburg believes that the items of mass culture, no matter how insignificant they might seem, express a truth about modern life

8 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson 1.127 Robert Lostutter, The Hummingbirds, 1981. Watercolor on paper, 1 ¾ x 5 5/8”. Collection of Anne and Warren Weisberg

9 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion Robert Lostutter, The Hummingbirds  Lostutter uses small scale to enhance the character of his work  He likes to create his works on the scale not of a human but of a bird  The tiny scale of the work—only one person at a time can see it properly—forces us to come closer  Viewing it becomes an intimate experience

10 Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Hierarchical Scale  Hierarchical scale refers to the deliberate use of relative size in a work of art, in order to communicate differences in importance  Almost always, larger means more important, and smaller means less important

11 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Interactive Exercises: Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion Hierarchical Scale Click to start the Interactive Exercises

12 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson 1.128 Relief from the northern wall of the hypostyle hall at the great temple of Amun, 19 th Dynasty, c. 1295–1186 BCE. Karnak, Egypt

13 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Hierarchical scale A B C

14 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion Hierarchical scale: Relief from the northern wall of the hypostyle hall at the great temple of Amun  In the art of ancient Egypt, the king, or pharaoh, was usually the largest figure depicted because he had the highest status in the social order  This scene depicts the military campaign of Pharoah Seti I (figure A) against the Hittites and Libyans

15 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson 1.129 Jan van Eyck, Madonna in a Church, 1437–8. Oil on wood panel, 12 5/8 x 5 1/2”. Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany

16 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion Jan van Eyck, Madonna in a Church  Uses hierarchical scale to communicate spiritual importance  In his effort to glorify the spiritual importance of Mary and the Christ child, van Eyck separates them from normal human existence  Van Eyck has scaled them to symbolize their central importance in the Christian religion

17 Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Distorted Scale  An artist may deliberately distort scale to create an abnormal or supernatural effect

18 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Interactive Exercises: Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion Distorted Scale Click to start the Interactive Exercises

19 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson 1.130 Dorothea Tanning, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, 1943. Oil on canvas, 16 1/8 x 24”. Tate, London

20 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion Dorothea Tanning, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik  Dorothea Tanning was a Surrealist artist  The sunflower seems huge in relation to the interior architecture and the two female figures standing on the left  By contradicting our ordinary experience of scale, Tanning invites us into a world unlike the one we know  Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (“A Little Night Music”), is borrowed from a lighthearted piece of music by the composer Mozart, but ironically Tanning’s scene exhibits a strange sense of dread

21 Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Proportion  The relationships between the sizes of different parts of a work make up its proportions  By controlling these size relationships an artist can enhance the expressive and descriptive characteristics of the work

22 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Interactive Exercises: Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and ProportionProportion Click to start the Interactive Exercises

23 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion 1.131 Examples of how proportion changes on vertical and horizontal axes Foot Lip Hip ABC Width Height

24 Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Human Proportion  Carefully chosen proportion can make an art object seem pleasing to the eye  This goes for the human body, too  The ancient Egyptians used the palm of the hand as a unit of measurement  The ancient Greeks sought an ideal of beauty in the principle of proportion  The models used by the Greeks for calculating human proportion were later adopted by artists of ancient Rome, and then by Renaissance artists

25 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Interactive Exercises: Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion Human Proportion Click to start the Interactive Exercises

26 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion 1.132 Ancient Egyptian system using the human hand as a standard unit of measurement 6 palms = 1 cubit 4 cubits = 1 man’s height [24 palms] 4 fingers = 1 palm

27 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson 1.133 Nigerian Ife artist, Figure of Oni, early 14th– 15th century. Brass with lead, 18 3/8” high. National Museum, Ife, Nigeria

28 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion Nigerian Ife artist, Figure of Oni  The Oni is the most powerful and important figure in this culture  The head is large in proportion to the rest of the body; the Yoruba believe that the head is the seat of a divine power  Many African sculptures exaggerate the head and face as a way to communicate status, destiny, and a connection to the spiritual

29 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson 1.134 Raphael, The School of Athens, 1510–11. Fresco, 16’ 8” x 25’. Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican City

30 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Chapter 1 Art in Two Dimensions: Line, Shape, and the Principle of Contrast Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Gateway to Art: Raphael, The School of Athens Scale and Proportion in a Renaissance Masterpiece  Raphael’s sensitivity to proportion reflects his pursuit of perfection  He indicated the importance of his masterpiece by creating it on a magnificent scale  He composed the individual figures so that the parts of each figure are harmonious in relation to each other and portray an idealized form  Double emphasis on the center brings our attention to the opposing gestures of two famous Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle

31 Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson The Golden Section  The Golden Section is a proportional ratio of 1:1.618, which occurs in many natural objects  Real human bodies do not have exactly these proportions, but when the ratio 1:1.618 is applied to making statues, it gives naturalistic results  The proportions of Ancient Greek sculptures are often very close to the Golden Section

32 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Interactive Exercises: Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion Golden Section & Proportion Click to start the Interactive Exercises

33 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion 1.135 The Golden Section Golden Mean 1:1.6180337... 1 1.618 Fibonacci Sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, … Root 5 Rectangle 13 8 5 3 2 11 1/2 1.618… 2.236… 2 √5

34 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson 1.136 Poseidon (or Zeus), c. 460–450 BCE. Bronze, 6’ 10 1/2” high. National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece

35 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson 1.137 Diagram of proportional formulas used in the statue 1.618

36 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and ProportionPoseidon  As a Greek god, Poseidon had to have perfect proportions  The sculptor applied a conveniently simple ratio, using the head as a standard measurement  The body is three heads wide by seven heads high

37 Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Proportional Ratios  “Golden Rectangles” is a technique based on nesting inside each other a succession of rectangles based on the 1:1.618 proportions of the Golden Section  The shorter side of the outer rectangle becomes the longer side of the smaller rectangle inside it, and so on  The result is an elegant spiral shape

38 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson 1.138a Henry Peach Robinson, Fading Away, 1858. Combination albumen print. George Eastman House, Rochester, New York

39 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson 1.138b Proportional analysis of Henry Peach Robinson’s Fading Away

40 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion Henry Peach Robinson, Fading Away  Henry Peach Robinson was a great photographic innovator  This image shows Robinson’s attention to the coordinated ratios in artistic composition  Notice how the right-hand drape divides the photograph into two Golden Rectangles, and how the spiral draws our eye to the dying young woman

41 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson 1.139 Iktinos and Kallikrates, Parthenon, 447–432 BCE. Athens, Greece

42 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion Iktinos and Kallikrates, Parthenon  By applying the idealized rules of proportion for the human body to the design of the Parthenon, a temple of the goddess Athena, the Greeks created a harmonious design  The proportions correspond quite closely to the Golden Section  The vertical and horizontal measurements work together to create proportional harmony

43 Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson 1.140 The use of the Golden Section in the design of the Parthenon Pediment Triglyphs

44 Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson Conclusion  When proportion conforms to scale, all the parts of the work look the way we expect them to  Scale and proportion are basic to most works; size choices influence all the other elements and principles in the design

45 PART 1 FUNDAMENTALS Chapter 7 Scale and Proportion This concludes the PowerPoint Slide Set for Chapter 1.7 Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts By Debra J DeWitte, Ralph M Larmann, M Kathryn Shields Copyright © 2011 Thames & Hudson


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