Геометрия картины

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World – artist – drawing! This trinity involves the great mystery of creation. And everything that relates to the representation of this world’s attributes on canvas serves the artist only as a facture for expressing his feelings and thoughts. However the latter, unfortunately, constitute an intangible substance whose traces we try to find on the picture’s flat amongst the regularities of its construction. In art criticism this search has been carried on for a long time and its scope is quite wide: from the naпve-and-materialistic trend to the sublime-and-mystic oneAlberti, Leonardo da Vinci, Vasari, Poussin, Delacroix, Rousseau, Matisse, Vasnetsov, Favorsky, Yuon, Deyneka, Kibrik, Volkov and many others did homage to this problem having left works dedicated to the composition of a picture.

A very laconic wording disclosing the role of composition in the pictorial art was given by Pierre Rousseau, leader of the Barbizon school’s landscape-painters: “The composition exists from the time when objects begin to be represented not only for themselves but also so that their exterior communicates the repercussions which they have aroused in our soul”. [1]

In this context Nicolas Poussin’s utterance is interesting: “The new in painting lies mainly not in a plot never yet seen before but in a good peculiar composition, in the strength of expression; therefore, a usual and old theme may be made unique and new”. (ibid)

However, notwithstanding exceptional significance of composition for painting, the theory of composition in its formation is far from completion. This basically concerns the theory’s blind-spots associated with formal composition. Nevertheless there is quite an exact vector of search for truth here set by well-known Russian artist Konstantin Fedorovich Yuon: “No less important is understanding of geometry laws and the meaning of geometrical figures as means typifying and generalizing the phenomena of all the visual natural and physical world and being important for the determination and elaboration of composition”. [2]

What is a rhythm in painting? And, generally, “…how should one understand a rhythmic construction on the flat?” – these are the questions which at one time N.N. Volkov put in his monograph Composition in Painting and which we shall try to answer in our articles. Furthermore, the circle of the matters we consider comprises the problems of the picture’s compositional structure, construction, and compositional centre.

All of the tasks that have been set are fulfilled using the apparatus of geometrical transformations, theory of projective and affine geometry.

The material of this research may be helpful for artists, art critics, and students of arts colleges.

1. N.N. Rostovtsev, S.E. Ignatiev, E.V. Shorokhov. Drawing, Painting, Composition: Reading-book. М, 1979.
2. K.F. Yuon. About Art. М, 1959.

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