glance curve

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In relation to the perception of visual art, the German psychologist Mercedes Gaffron (1908–93) argued in 1950 that Western viewers unconsciously followed a basic perceptual path in looking at two-dimensional perspectival representations—a left-to-right movement—running upwards from the lower left foreground, across to the right, into three-dimensional depicted space. We become aware of this phenomenon only when an image is laterally flipped. It is not clear how this is related to physical eye movements. Wölfflin had already argued that there was a general tendency for the (Western) viewer to follow a visual path from the lower left of the picture, first going up, then going down (perhaps a tendency in Western art to assume such a path), but he had focused on the picture plane rather than relating it to pictorial depth. See alsoreading direction.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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