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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.
The procedure as carried out in the nineteenth century is described by Theodore Henry Fielding in his (1847).
The picture was removed from the stretcher and laid on a flat surface.
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The terms in this glossary are cross-linked or externally linked Raking light is the illumination of objects from a light source at a strongly oblique angle almost parallel to the object's surface (between 5º and 30º with respect to the examined surface).
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.
These pictures reflect concepts that were important in Dutch culture such as the family, privacy and intimacy.
However, it is likely that the world of exquisite refinery of Vermeer's compositions did not accurately portray the world he actually observed. Willemijn Fock, a historian of the decorative arts, has demonstrated that floors paved with marble tiles, one of the most ubiquitous features of Dutch interior paintings, were extremely rare in the Dutch seventeenth-century houses.
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