Art Term

Foreshortening

Foreshortening refers to the technique of depicting an object or human body in a picture so as to produce an illusion of projection or extension in space

John William Waterhouse, ‘Saint Eulalia’ exhibited 1885
John William Waterhouse
Saint Eulalia exhibited 1885
Tate

The artist records, in varying degrees, the distortion that is seen by the eye when an object or figure is viewed at a distance or at an unusual angle – for example a body viewed from either the feet or the top of the head.