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Author: Aleisha Olson

This lesson will explore some of the approaches to perspective that artists use in order to depict the illusion of depth in two-dimensional works of art.

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Image of Paris Street; Rainy Day, Gustave Caillebotte, Public Domain,; Image of Landscape in the Style of Yan Wengui, Dai Jin, Public Domain,; Image of Primavera, Sandro Botticelli, Public Domain,

Terms to Know
Atmospheric Perspective

A form of perspective in which the more distant objects are depicted in a greyish or bluish haze.

Linear Perspective

A form of perspective in which the lines of manmade objects (roads, buildings) are at right angles to the picture plane and converge toward a vanishing point.


A technique used to depict space in 2-D artworks in which the closer object covers up, or overlaps, the more distant object.


A technique used to depict the illusion of distance in 2-D artworks. The more distant object is shown through positioning over or on a diagonal with the closer object. Even though both may appear the same size, the eye reads the object that is positioned higher as more distant.


Size relative to another object. Scale can be used to depict distance in two dimensions - the more distant object is smaller in scale.

Vanishing Point

The point on the horizon where the straight lines of linear perspective converge. The two sides of a road appear to come together at the vanishing point.