The Archangel – Community Bridge – Frederick Maryland

The Archangel

This feature – a special type of perspective painting called an anamorphic projection – is on the bridge wall immediately adjacent to The Delaplaine Visual Arts Center. The image to the left shows how this feature appears to bridge vistors. Leonardo da Vinci invented this technique, which allows the viewer to see an image as trompe l’oeil – or “fool the eye” – from only one particular spot, usually at a sharp angle to the wall. From other vantage points, the image is so distorted as to be almost unrecognizable. Looking at this image on your screen from a sharp angle above and to the left (you can also tilt your monitor screen down and to the right) will reveal the image correctly. It also appears correctly below.

One of the most famous existing anamorphic projections was painted on the ceiling of the Church of the Gesú, in Rome, Italy, in the late 1600s. The optimum viewing point is marked with an X on the floor there. For Archangel, the X on the floor will be inside The Delaplaine Visual Arts Center gallery near the window from which the photo below was taken. The entrance to the Delaplaine Center is located behind the viewer as they stand in front of this image. The model for the image was a ten year old girl who loves the bridge, was noticed while visiting it, and has now become a part of it.