Scientists have been puzzling over the mystery of the realism of Renaissance paintings for many years, for it is simply impossible not to admire the stunning color palette, lines clarity and the accuracy to give life to the images depicted in the masterpieces reflecting those ancient times times. However, the English photographer and artist David Hockney seems to have been able to find the key to this riddle.

It should be noted that before the Renaissance period, even the most famous masters of art could not depict so realistic works. The heroes displayed in the paintings drawn between XIV-XV centuries as if became live. Naturally, such changes brought a lot of questions. So David Hockney decided to work on this aspect.

The artist chose the canvas "Portrait of the Arnolfini" by Jan van Eyck as an object of his studies. You can observe a lot of quite interesting details in this picture painted back in 1434. But Hockney paid special attention to the candlestick under the ceiling and a small mirror. The artist found a similar candlestick and tried to depict it. However, Hockney did not even suspect how difficult it was to draw such an object in perspective, and it was especially difficult to convey the glare of the light to make it more realistic.

When the artist finally managed to recreated the three-dimensional model of the candlestick, he realized that on the Van Eyck canvas this object is depicted in perspective and with one point perspective. And again the problem came up: how did Eick do it? After all, there was no lens pinhole camera in those days.

Hockney has spent a lot of time searching an answer to this question, when suddenly the mirror came up to his attention depicted in the picture. It had a convex shape, and in those years the mirrors were created only concave shaped. Then Hockney realized that the master used a concave mirror, through which he looked, in order to draw objects in a more realistic way. Most likely the rest of the artists of those times used the same technique until 1500s when people learned how to make large and high-quality lenses. They were inserted into a special pinhole camera, which allowed to obtain a projection of any size. This discovery was a real revolution in the technique of realistic images.