11 October 2012 The science of optics: recent revelations about the history of art
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Abstract
We have discovered a variety of types of optical evidence that demonstrate artists as early as Jan van Eyck and Robert Campin (c1425) used optical projections as aids for producing certain elements in their paintings. We also found optical evidence within works by well-known later artists, including Bermejo (c1475), Lotto (c1525), Caravaggio (c1600), de la Tour (c1650), Chardin (c1750) and Ingres (c1825), showing that the use of optical projections by artists continued up to the development of photography and beyond. However, it is important to emphasize this does not mean that paintings are effectively photographs. The mind as well as the hand of the artist is intimately involved in the creation process, so these complex images are much more than simply traced images that have been projected.
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David Hockney, Charles M. Falco, "The science of optics: recent revelations about the history of art", Proc. SPIE 8480, The Nature of Light: Light in Nature IV, 84800A (11 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.956447; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.956447
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