I had no idea how many people were perplexed by the question of how high to hang paintings and other decor. Many people, it turns out, do not understand why some paintings are placed on the floor and others are hung from the ceiling. And now let’s dig deeper into the issue.
If you’ve already searched the Internet for an answer to this question, disregard everything you’ve found. Assume there are people dressed in black in front of you. They activate the neutralizer. That’s it; you don’t recall any other hints like “hang a picture 160 cm from the floor.”
It is preferable to rely on the expertise of professionals who truly understand the principles that must be followed when hanging paintings. Of course, I’m referring to museum employees. As a result, if you walk around any art museum, you will notice several interesting features:
The larger the picture, the further it hangs from the hall’s entrance.
Paintings of various sizes are displayed at various heights in one room.
The paintings are hung at various heights in rooms of varying sizes.
OFFTOPIC: By the way, do you know that Winston Churchill painted awesome artworks? Look at the painting below.
So, on what basis are they placed? It’s very straightforward. Several parameters are considered:
Which side of the room will a person look at the picture from? This point is unique to each subject of painting. Standing close to the canvas “The Appearance of Christ to the People” and attempting to fully embrace it with a glance is impossible.
Which part of the image will a person look at first? Each work has a distinct compositional center. We get our first look at the first contact through him.
Work composition. Even with different sizes of paintings, they are attempting to organize them according to symmetry principles.
So, let us return to our interiors. The same rules apply here as they do in the museum. That is, for the proper placement of a painting or piece of decor, it is necessary to determine:
Which parts of the room will you look at the picture from? Perhaps you’ll only notice her when you walk into the room. Or you consider putting it in front of the sofa. In other words, your task is to locate the point of contact with the work.
What is the painting’s focal point? Which part of it do your eyes seem to be drawn to the most?
Now, write down just one rule that must be followed:
When a person comes into contact with the work, the compositional center of the painting should be just above eye level.
It is translated into human language by me. That is, if you view the image from the sofa, the focal point should be slightly higher than your eyes in a sitting position. If the point of contact with the work is at the room’s entrance, the picture should hang just above the level of your eyes when standing. Please see the gallery below.
There are exceptions to this rule, as there are to any rule:
A sitting person should not touch the canvas with his or her head if the painting is hung over a sofa or bed. And it makes no difference where or what points are located.
If you have a small child in the house, hang the picture so Madonna doesn’t have another mysterious smile drawn with a felt-tip pen.
If a painting is part of a group of works that make up a single composition, it can be hung lower or higher than necessary. As seen in the photograph below.
Images with a lot of perspective and an inflated horizon line. That is, if the artist viewed the objects he painted from a low vantage point, it would be impossible to hang such a picture high. It will destabilize the room’s geometry. There will be a strong impression that the room is located somewhere in the basement.
And there is one more exception that I will make separately:
There are works that only serve to decorate the interior and should not be considered at all.
Many modern paintings, for example, are designed to be a bright spot in the interior, so they can be placed on the floor (as many do), or even on the ceiling. They are simply a part of the composition and are arranged in accordance with the principle – where the emphasis is required.
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