Castellano         English
Cavalier perspective

The German term “Weltlandschaft” has no literal translation, but it establishes the notion of “the landscape of the world” in art, an aerial panoramic view conceived long before the first human ascended in a hot-air balloon. “Weltlandschaft” is the scenography of the world where the human comedies and dramas of men turned into tiny actors unfurl across the landscape of the universe, silent narratives that tell us about whatever they want to tell, including that which is prohibited, that which is often told between the lines.

We see it in paintings by Patinir, Bruegel or Hieronymus Bosch. Historians refer to an imaginary and bucolic landscape, but it greatly resembles certain regions in northern Europe.

Aerial perspective was learned by observing light in nature, long before the French impressionists. Whatever is far away loses contrast, becomes grey and tinged with turquoise or ultramarine blue, depending on the color of the sky.

Cavalier perspective is one of the basic ways of projecting a three-dimensional body in one plane. After the invention of printing, it became popular due to the proliferation of atlases and engravings that show the ports and cities of the world with panoramic bird’s-eye views. Geometric projection was more than a valuable system of realistic representation for painters; it was also used in military and commercial cartography and in construction engineering for buildings and fortifications. In the sixteenth century, it received the curious name of “cavalier” because it is reminiscent of the oblique view of a man on horseback looking at a small object on the ground.