Illustrating The Flow Of Lines On Which The Rhythmic Unity Of This Picture Depends

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Plate XXXVII. THE BIRTH OF VENUS. BOTTICELLI (FLORENCE) A beautiful example of Botticelli's refined line rhythm. (See diagram on opposite page for analysis.)

Photo Anderson

In both cases note the way the lines lead up to the principal subject, and the steadying power introduced by means of horizontal, vertical, and other straight lines. Veronese has contented himself with keeping a certain horizontal feeling in the sky, culminating in the straight lines of the horizon and of the sea edge. And he has also introduced two pyramids, giving straight lines in among the trees, the most pronounced of which leads the eye straight on to the principal head.

Botticelli has first the long line of the horizon echoed in the ground at the right-hand lower corner. And then he has made a determined stand against the flow of lines carrying you out of the picture on the right, by putting straight, upright trees and insisting upon their straightness.

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Diagram XVI.

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