Exploring the Relationship between Pictorial and Architectural Space: Two Systems of Representation, Italian Renaissance and Seljuk Persia

By Razia Latif and Gulzar Haider.

Published by The International Journal of Visual Design

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The focus of this research is to explore the relationship of pictorial space and architectural space. How does architectural space influence pictorial space? Do the pictorial space and the experiments conducted in these art works influence architectural space? Is it possible to find a system to unfold pictorial space into architectural space? Is the compositional space within a Persian miniature based on an orthogonal system while the compositional space in Renaissance art is based on a perspective system? These questions are answered by the study of spatial classifications in Italian Renaissance and Persian (Seljuk) art and architecture. The analysis takes form of three dimensional computer constructions of miniature paintings and renaissance paintings. The 3D construction of the Persian miniatures are viewed through an orthogonal camera and the 3D construction of the Renaissance paintings are viewed through a perspective camera indicating that an accurate visual reconstruction of the space is only possible using the particular camera views.

Keywords: Pictorial Space, Architectural Space, Italian Renaissance, Persian Miniatures, Seljuk Architecture, 3D Construction of Pictorial Space, Representation of Space, Perspective, Orthogonal Projection

The International Journal of Visual Design, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.17-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.611MB).

Razia Latif

Lecturer, Graduate Fellow, Department of Architecture, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Razia Latif completed her B Arch in 2009 from the Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, Pakistan and was awarded a Gold medal for exemplary academic performance. Immediately after graduating she was involved in important architectural design projects in Islamabad, Pakistan. In 2010 she was offered to continue and expand her research on the relationship between pictorial and architectural space as part of the Masters in Art, Design and Architecture studies program at the Beaconhouse National University Lahore for which she received another Gold medal. She is currently working as an Assistant Professor and First year coordinator at the Beaconhouse National University.

Dr. Gulzar Haider

Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan

Dr. Gulzar Haider is the Former Director and Professor Emeritus, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. In 2005, he established the School of Architecture at the Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan and is the current Dean of the School of Architecture at the University. He is a scholar of Islamic Architecture and its various sources and representations. He completed his BS in Engineering from Punjab University, Lahore, in 1958 as a Fulbright scholar he earned his MS in Engineering (1962), BA in Architecture (1968) and PhD (1969) from the University of Illinois, USA. Since the early 1980s he has been deeply involved with issues of architecture and culture with special focus on architecture as a mirror for Muslim self-image in the West. He designed and built five major mosques in North America and has widely written about the need for Abrahamic values shared by Judaism, Christianity and Islam toward shaping the environment and achieving peace.