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Art Terms


Playful Perspective

Uki-e (literally “float painting”) creates a visual illusion by stretching further the Western technique of perspective, using soft shades and firm lines to enhance a sense of optical depth. Introduced in the Edo period from Qing Dynasty China, it was developed in Japan as a genre of ukiyo-e painting. Referred to as ‘glasses’ or ‘optique’ pictures, since the image is viewed through a lens, everything is painted in reverse to how it would be properly seen through the glass. Although natural landscapes occur as Chinese Uki-e subject matter, more commonly it tended toward Chinese style structures and gardens, but also Western architectures for compositions where the perspective effect could readily be exploited.

Artist Unknown (Floating Picture) "Western Pavillion I" 18th century color on paper

Artist Unknown (Floating Picture) "Street Landscape" 18th century color on paper

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