A quest for the ultimate, beautiful, meaningful picture

2D pictures in a 3D world


A picture is a two-dimensional rendering of the three-dimensional world that we see. The painter credited with being the first to focus on that reduction of the world to a flat canvas was Paul Cézanne. I very much like his landscapes, where he expresses that realisation quite well. For instance the one to the right: ‘This is not a tree, but these are strokes of paint on a canvas, giving the viewer an impression of a tree’, he seems to say. From him I learned that perspective in a picture is an illusion and I started to forego perspective quite often.

My current PC-desktop wallpaper is an example of that. A picture from the ‘expedition’ to Almere some months ago: no depth thanks to the stone wall filling the whole background. On the other hand, the tree stem and the shadow on the stone wall give some illusion of depth. And of course (a little ‘sinplicity’ again): the shadow does not match the tree. At first sight you should think it is, then come to realise that the two don’t match. The shadow is of a lantern, and the light does not come from the left but from the right.

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