A Closer Look: Pictorial Space

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For more than six centuries, European painters sought to depict objects in a space which seemed equivalent to that of 'our' world. In a discussion that ranges from Uccello to Vermeer and Canaletto, and from Titian to Monet and Van Gogh, Nicholas Penny describes how great artists made the fiction of pictorial space compelling. He examines some of the most popular devices employed by those artists and, in doing so, provides an introduction to some of the fundamental themes in European art.

Pictorial Space is part of the National Gallery's Closer Look series, in which acknowledged experts write for a wide audience on themes in European painting. Authors include David Bomford, Erika Langmuir and Alexander Sturgis.


Nicholas Penny was Director of the National Gallery, London from 2008 to 2015. His many publications include three volumes on the National Gallery's sixteenth-century Italian paintings and Frames in the Closer Look series. He is the co-author of Giotto to Durer (1991) and Durer to Veronese (1999) and is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books and the Burlington Magazine.

Colour illustration80
Dimensions21 x 14.8 mm
PublishedJune 2017
PublisherNational Gallery Company Ltd
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