Artists have been wrong for centuries to express ``shadows'' in paintings

It seems that there was almost no shadow in paintings until

the Renaissance after the ancient Roman era. In addition, shadows are rarely depicted in non-Western art. The MIT Press Reader points out the mistake that existed in the expression method of 'shadow' which is a rare existence in the history of painting.

The Art of the Shadow: How Painters Have Gotten It Wrong for Centuries | The MIT Press Reader

It seems that there are many cases where the expression of shadows is ``physically incorrect, but visually it looks correct to humans''. Below is a fresco painting ' Monument of Tribute ' created in the 1420s in the Bunracci Chapel in Florence, Italy. The fresco appears to accurately depict the shadows of multiple characters.

However, if the building and people are actually arranged like in 'Tong-no-sen' and the light is shining so that the shadow extends to the left, the shadow will not look like a painting. If you look at the 3D model that reproduces the object of 'tribute money' created by Mr. Meeko Kuwahara, it is obvious that the shadow of the building should overlap the shadow of the person.

Furthermore, unnatural shadows are also written in the religious painting '

Saint Madeleine and Saint Catherine ' drawn around 1440. Two women are drawn in the painting below, but the shadow of the pillar extends from the right front to the right woman, but the shadow disappears at the moment when it overlaps with the woman. In addition, behind the woman, what appears to be a pillar shadow appears again, and you can see that the shadow related to the woman is completely ignored.


Polittico di Sant'Antonio ' drawn around 1460-1470 also has unnatural shadows. Shadows of several characters are stretched on the floor, but the shadows hit the walls and then disappear unnaturally.

Der Sterbende, Epitaph des Heinrich Schmitburg , painted between 1472 and 1553, depicts two men standing in front of a large box. The shadow of the man on the right extends exactly from the ground to the box, but for some reason the shadow of the man on the left extends only to the ground and does not cover the box.

However, there are others, such as

Vittore Carpaccio 's Presentazione della Vergine al Tempio , painted between 1502 and 1508, where the zigzagging shadows on the stairs are correctly drawn.

In '

Scenes from the Story of the Argonauts ', the shadow of the man is mysteriously depicted on the side of the stairs, even though it does not exist on the ground.

Konrad Witz, a German painter active in the 1400s, expresses shadows on corners in several paintings. Below is ' Adoration of the Magi ' drawn by Vitz.

In '

The Deliverance of Saint Peter ' the shadow of the halberd hangs over the corner of the wall.

Witz's depiction of shadows is not completely accurate, but it is a finer detail than other painters' depictions of shadows.

Triangular shadows were often used to express human shadows. Below is the shadow of the triangle drawn in '

Saint Catherine of Siena Exorcising a Possessed Woman '.

Contrary to this, there are also those that express shadows with inverted triangles. It seems that the method of ``expressing shadows using triangles'' as described above was distorted at some point, and shadows were drawn with inverted triangles.

There are also shadows that extend from the left and right legs and connect like horseshoes. Below is 'Amor, Anteros and Amor Lethaeus' on the left, and 'Magerius' mosaic painting' drawn around the 3rd century on the right. In both paintings, you can see that the shadows extending from the left and right legs of the person join in the middle.

In addition, in '

Birth of the Virgin and the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple ' by Fra Carnebel , the shadows of the people in the foreground are drawn thick, but the shadows of the people in the background are drawn quite lightly. 'The lighting is inconsistent,' points out The MIT Press Reader.

in Art, Posted by logu_ii