03 May, 2013

Influence Of Cameras On Drawing

I was wondering if the advent of the camera influenced drawing. It seems most drawings today are "perspective", meaning they're how you see things, but it wasn't always this way. There were 2 things that made me think this:
1. It is suspected that the Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer, used a camera obscura in his work. e.g. see http://www.grand-illusions.com/articles/mystery_in_the_mirror/ or search for johannes vermeer camera obscura. My thinking is: why are they specifically pointing out this artist? It must be because his work is different from others of his time. Today, a lot of drawings are done like this, but nobody notices it, so it looks like the invention of the camera and the change of drawing style occurred around the same time.
2. Old paintings drawn with the wrong perspective. e.g. I know a table is rectangular, so I'm drawing a rectangular table regardless of its orientation. Some examples at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspective_%28graphical%29

However, looking at the Wikipedia article, it looks like people figured out perspective in 1400-1500, which is earlier than Vermeer's work. So I don't think the camera had that much of an impact.

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