The constraints on an artist in the choice of a pictorial station point are discussed in the contexts of art history and present-day perceptual psychology. The concepts of Alberti, Dürer and Leonardo da Vinci are compared with the current speculations of Gibson and Pirenne. Experimental evidence is reported that reveals that representational pictures possessing linear perspective whose center of projection is at a distance of about 10 times the size of the object pictured are the most acceptable for Western adults regardless of the locations they chose for viewing them. Further experiments with young children show that this preference develops in the early school years, perhaps as a result of increased experience with pictorial materials. The prescriptions of Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein are most clearly supported by these findings.


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pp. 191-196
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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