Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Differentiating between Affine and Perspective-Based Models for the Geometry of Visual Space Based on Judgments of the Interior Angles of Squares
Previous Article in Journal
Slant of a Surface Shifts Binocular Visual Direction
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Vision 2018, 2(2), 21;

Natural Perspective: Mapping Visual Space with Art and Science

Fovolab, Cardiff School of Art, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff CF5 2YB, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 1 May 2018 / Accepted: 1 May 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Perspective of Visual Space)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3379 KB, uploaded 14 May 2018]   |  


Following its discovery in fifteenth-century Italy, linear perspective has often been hailed as the most accurate method of projecting three-dimensional visual space onto a two-dimensional picture plane. However, when we survey the history of European art it is evident that few artists fully complied with its mathematical rules, despite many of them being rigorously trained in its procedures. In this paper, we will consider how artists have actually depicted visual space, and present evidence that images created according to a “natural” perspective (NP) used by artists are judged as better representations of visual space than those created using standard linear (LP) and curvilinear fisheye (FP) projective geometries. In this study, we built a real three-dimensional scene and produced photographs of the scene in three different perspectives (NP, LP and FP). An online experiment in which we asked people to rank the perspectives in order of preference showed a clear preference for NP compared to the FP and LP. In a second experiment, participants were asked to view the real scene and rate each perspective on a range of psychological variables. Results showed that NP was the most preferred and the most effective in depicting the physical space naturally. We discuss the implications of these results and the advantages and limitations of our approach for studying the global metric and geometrical structure of visual space. View Full-Text
Keywords: art; visual space; perspective; natural perspective; geometrical perspective; peripheral visual field art; visual space; perspective; natural perspective; geometrical perspective; peripheral visual field

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Burleigh, A.; Pepperell, R.; Ruta, N. Natural Perspective: Mapping Visual Space with Art and Science. Vision 2018, 2, 21.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Vision EISSN 2411-5150 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top