A technique that allows artists to render on a flat surface compositional elements in such a way as to grant the illusion that they are receding into space. It entails reducing the dimensions of an object or parts of the figure to conform to the proper spatial relationship. So, for instance, when Andrea Mantegna painted his Lamentation over the Dead Christ (c. 1490; Milan, Brera), he shortened Christ's legs, arms, and thorax to place the viewer at his feet as one of the mourners. In Mantegna's ceiling in the Camera Picta (1465-1474; Mantua, Palazzo Ducale), similar adjustments to the figures grant the illusion that they stand on a parapet above the viewer.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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