ADD INTO THIS BOX “SARCOPHAGUS”

To the side are examples of relief sculptue: Ghiberti’s scene from the door of the baptistery in Florence, 1435, and the ancient Roman Sarcophagus, c. 220. Lorenzo Ghiberti’s gilded relief of the Story of Jacob and Esau is only finished on one side. Created in low relief, the hills and valleys protrude outward defining the three-dimensionality of the people, and to a lesser degree, the building. In order to heighten the illusion of the women on the left standing closer to the viewer, or coming out of the frame, the artist actually cast them separately and with wires attached them onto the surface. While Ghiberti did introduce mathematical perspective in the backward extension of the building, the effect is minimal. Rather than the space illusionistically moving backward towards the horizon, the space moves outward towards us.

 The Roman sarcophagus depicting Dionysus, the Seasons, and other figures is, in actuality, a very elaborate stone coffin. Rather than focusing on death, the figures seem to be partying. The men and the woman on the beast seem to be standing very solidly on a little ground line, with some of their limbs and heads almost free of the block, as the background is filled with other details and people. The carver has created the illusion of layers of people and things from the foreground into the background. This is to be seen from only one side, and obviously, there is no need to carve the interior walls.