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Painters instinctively avoid the lowest angles of raking light because they divided solid objects into to two essentially equal parts: a face would be half in light and half in shadow, which tends to have a flattening effect.Moreover, raking light create cast shadows that run parallel to the picture plane, so they do not suggest spatial recession as well as shadows that are cast backwards by light originating from a higher angle.Realism attempts to represent people, objects, or places in a realistic manner as opposed to an idealized way; also, a later nineteenth century art movement in France which objected to the idealized style of Romanticism by creating works that depicted a more faithful view of everyday life.Without underestimating the efforts of (Dutch) interior painters to make their works seem realistic, it is important to be aware up to what point we are dealing with modified reality., or "turnip"—the Dutch painter and art writer Arnold Houbraken (1660–1719) recommended that "stolen" fragments should be "welded, molded in the mind as though it were stewed in a pot, and prepared and served with sauce of ingenuity if it is to prove flavorful." was a critical term which Willem Goeree first used in his Inleyding tot de algemeene teyken-konst in 1668, reflecting his knowledge of Traitté de la peinture de Léonard da Vinci (Paris, 1651).
Often, painters use a three-quarters lighting which reveals the great part of an objects surface but creates at the same time a strong sense of volume.Fock reasons that the abundant representations of these floors in Dutch genre painting may be explained by the fact that "artists were attracted by the challenge involved in representing the difficult perspective of receding multicolored marble tiling." Vermeer should not be considered a realist painter in the strictest sense of the word.He frequently modified the scale, the shape of objects and even the fall of shadows for compositional or thematic reasons. One of the most striking examples of this modified reality is a so-called picture-within-a-picture, : The relining, or lining as it is also called, of a painting is a process of restoration used to strengthen, flatten or consolidate oil or tempera paintings on canvas by attaching a new canvas to the back of the existing one.Under raking light, tool marks, paint handling, canvas weave, surface imperfections and restorations can be visualized better than with light coming from different angles.
In some instances raking light may help reveal pentimenti or changes in an artist's intention.
A sheet of paper covered in thin paste was laid on the surface of the painting, which was then placed face-down on a board or table.