|Thesis | The World of Teruo Sato |Technique|2-4-ATwo-Point Perspective Picture

  Two-Point Perspective Picture


As previously mentioned, one-point perspective uses a picture-leading type of composition that emphasizes background. This goes with the picture philosophy of Sato, who held a picture-for-picture principle. Therefore, most of his "perspective plan" type work used one-point perspective. But maybe because of his instinct as a painter, he had also tried to use two-point perspective composition. Here, we will pick up some of these few examples and analyze them.

The Neo-Pyramid Times
The Neo-Pyramid Times ; 1989

First, we will analyze "The Neo-Pyramid Times" as a typical picture of two-point perspective of Sato. This picture shows a pyramid of skeleton build by an adjutant stork. But if we see it in detail, we can see that the mountain of skeleton does not form a pyramid. Its edges are falling down, and the bottom line is round, too. This is not a pyramid but a cone.
   A picture that has a composition similar to this is "The Apotheosis of War", a work by Vasily Vereshchargin (1842-1904), a painter of the Russian Imperial times. However, his mountain of skeleton forms a clear pyramid.
   A construction, because its edges tend to overlap with rays, has a nature of reinforcing "perspective plan". As stated previously, a typical two-point perspective picture has an architecture-leading feature, and Sato as a picture-for-picture painter must weaken this effect. This is why in his picture the edges must not be made clear.
   The edges of a pyramid do not overlap with rays. Since this is not the case with a cube or a rectangular solid, Sato unconsciously excluded these forms. Even with edges that do not overlap with rays, if they are made as clear as in Vereshchargin's work, linear perspective would be strongly emphasized. Therefore, Sato obscured even the edges that do not have anything to do with rays, making them in collapsing forms. This is an example of Sato's use of "Method of Restrictive Ray" in a two-point perspective picture.
   Sato himself had almost no consciousness on this composition building. All he said about this picture is that he wanted to make the skeleton big, that the viewing position to see the mountain was low, that he wanted to put shadows in the right, or about his sentiment toward the dying civilization across the horizon. Here, there was absolutely no geometrical calculation in compositional design. Since there was no such a calculation, his picture became non-architectonic. This proves Sato's non-civilization principle, shown in the work part.
   In order to protect his own picture style within an architecture-leading type picture, Sato unconsciously chose and drew the most appropriate form, which shows his extraordinary genius.

The Inheritance
The Inheritance ; 1974

We shall examine now "The Inheritance", another typical picture with two-point perspective. The mountain of scrapped cars in this picture constitutes a rectangular solid. As noted earlier, the edges of such form overlap with rays. Thus, Sato broke down all the edges that had such a danger.
   The shadow on the right side of the mountain, while giving emphasis to the mountain, creates a compositional effect in which the right edge is obscured. This emphasizes the object, mitigates the nature of "perspective plan" and at the same time does away with architectural nature: that is, it becomes possible to achieve three things at a stroke. Such an accomplishment as to create many effects with the same end by a single act is something that is allowed only to artists with exceptional talents. This can also be seen in the example of sea depiction, saw in the person part.
   Also, in this work the vanishing point that extends from the mountain toward the left is situated outside the canvas. This brings rays close to horizontal, weakening the nature of "perspective plan".
   In landscape pictures, which belong to the category of "opened picture", Sato strongly emphasizes horizontality, meaning that rays must be excluded even more radically. In sea picture, this is accomplished by depicting nothing but water.
   In land picture, this is done by excluding buildings. However, in Sato's picture world, land represents the field of human activity. Hence, not to draw any building is in fact against his picture style. On the other hand, drawing buildings brings the danger of introducing rays. Sato, in order to solve this paradox, carried out a thorough fragmentation of buildings.

Scenery ; 1980?

A concrete example of this is presented in "(Scenery)", a landscape picture in which a crematory is drawn, shown on the right. In this picture, the crematory is drawn in a way that it overlaps with bush, and is made almost invisible. By this way of drawing, Sato showed clearly that land is a field of human activity and at the same time excludes rays created by the building.
   In Sato's land picture, such things as magnificent temple or heroic castle were never drawn, since they carried the danger of introducing rays.  
   In the end, we shall verify a rare example of two-point perspective picture by Sato: "At the Atelier". In this picture, the lines of floor joints have a vanishing point toward the left and the course of bed has it toward the right. Both vanishing points are located far beyond the canvas, but show a strong diagonal direction. Therefore, the nature of "perspective plan" is strongly present. Such a composition puts in danger the picture style of Sato. Moreover, in this work, the edges of the bed and the floor are kept, so the rays are not removed.

As pointed out in the work and person part, in Sato's case, the only instances in which his picture style was broken occurred when there was some special reason. This happened only once in most of the cases. In pictures of self-portrait category, in Maja's pictures and in integrated pictures, his picture style was almost broken. These pictures had themes that were extremely significant for Sato, leading him to do such a thing.
   However, in "At the Atelier", his picture style was broken twice: "The Wall of Pamirs". In this picture the model is taking a lying pose. This diagonal pose, as argued earlier, threatens "The Wall of Pamirs". In a usual case, Sato would reconstruct the Wall in order to recover the equilibrium.
   Otherwise, this picture possesses already a complete etude, "Etude for At the Atelier". Hence, if to maintain his picture style, he could have taken the measure of leaving just this complete etude as his complete work. But Sato did not take any of these measures.

At the Atelier
At the Atelier ; 1988
Etude for At the Atelier
Etude for At the Atelier ; 1982

Ornithic Cairn
Ornithic Cairn ; 1980's
Reminiscence ; 2002

He specially created an opened picture and moreover, he did not restore "The Wall of Pamirs" at all. In addition, he left an open space behind the pillow and even placed a Lautrec's (1864-1901 French painter) poster and his own work "Ornithic Cairn", like screens, in a rather distant area. This was the same as destroying "The Wall of Pamirs" with his own hands.
   This was an extreme rarity for Sato, who was a painter who always held to his own style. The reasons that drove him to do so are beyond a third person's speculation. Might a demon resembling the goddess of art have acted in this deep part of Sato?
  14 years after drawing "At the Atelier", Sato at the age of 76 drew@"Reminiscence" which is his last work as oil painting. Although the model takes a sitting pose in which "Wall of Pamirs" is not so strongly affected, he clearly left open a small space behind her. The floor and the picture on the wall are drawn in similar monotone, that is, he used a coloring that reminds "The Wall of Pamirs" but the actual space clearly discards this inference.
  As noted in the work part, this picture has elements that partially deny the pure realism of Sato. When we see the fact that even "The Wall of Pamirs" was broken, we cannot help thinking that there might be something happening with Sato that was pressing him to avoid his picture style.


\ Written, summarized and translated by Taketoshi Murayama@\              
Original translation is rewritten by Chigusa Tanzawa \

This text must not be translated into any other languages without author's permission.

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