Dioramas 3

Florida Black Bear

Usually the diorama painters tried to keep everything but the sky on the pat of the diorama shell below where it forms a half dome. Although this section is curved in plan it is vertical in section. As soon as a  part of the painting transgresses onto the part of the wall that curves in section there is a problem when the observer moves – the parallax between the two viewing positions will distort the object. This is fine for a desert or even a mountain scene, where it is possible to paint everything below the dome. In a woodland scene where you are among the trees it is impossible to avoid, so James Perry Wilson, who painted this background, kinks the trunks of the trees just as the diorama shell transitions into the domed ceiling, or masks the straight trunks with palm leaves. You can see this transition if you look at the pair stereoscopically. (See advice on this a couple of posts down).

The light in this painting is very beautiful, catching a hazy moisture-laden air. It was painted in 1947 and is another diorama from the American Museum of Natural History in the North American Mammals hall

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