Introduction: Perspective in Painting


Representational thinking began with experiments in painting to develop realistic perspective. In this case, the result is mixed, for it appears as if the monks would be almost as tall as the mountains if they stood up.

There are also problems with the look of the mountains. They lack realistic detail. It is possible that the artist had never seen a mountain and was relying on written accounts of them.

In those days, mountains were believed to be nothing more than giant piles of rocks produced during the Flood of Noah in the Bible and symbolizing the Wrath of God.

The monk on the left is Saint Francis, receiving the Stigmata. The six-winged seraph is shooting laser-like beams at him, cutting his hands, feet, and side so that he can learn what Jesus felt when he was nailed on a cross and crucified.

Domenico Veneziano, Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata, c.1445, National Gallery of Art, D.C.