menu Annunciation, Archangel Gabriel
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Perspective construction lines

The perspective construction of the interior scene in the depiction of the Annunciation is worthy of note. The vanishing lines, visible in the underdrawing, of the relevant elements of the beamed ceiling, tiled floor and prie-dieu are drawn freehand and end at the transition to the next area of the depiction. If we extend these lines in our mind’s eye, we will see that there is no single vanishing point, but rather that the falling ceiling and rising floor lines largely meet in their own respective vanishing points above and below the centre of the picture respectively (see red mapping lines). Here we have a technique known as ‘empirical perspective’, which can already be attested, at least rudimentarily, in Cologne in around 1420 in the Marian retable by the Master of the Gereon Altarpiece.

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