Devices for Representing Space

Overlapping: one object overlaps another suggesting that one is closer to us than the other. See Raphael’s The Madonna of the Meadows, 1505.

 

 

LIGHTEN UP THE ABOVE IMAGE AND ADD IN THIS BOX THE NEW IMAGE TITLED “MAPPLETHORPE – 2 GUYS”

The question to answer is: what is closest to us? The standing baby (Christ) is perceived to be closer or more in the front of the painting. He stands in front of his mother. The other child (St. John) also overlaps Mary. While Mary’s hand holds Christ’s back (overlaps the skin of his side and back), her body is perceived to be behind Christ’s. She overlaps the landscape, giving the illusion that the meadow, trees, and mountains are further away.

 

Another example of simple overlapping is Robert Mapplethorpe’s photograph of two men. The white man overlaps the black man. The white man’s face is seen in its entirety (totally exposed to view, not obstructed) while areas of the black man’s head are hidden. Therefore, white man is in front and black man is  in back.