Perugino, The Delivery of the Keys, 1481–1482, Sistine Chapel, Rome.
To juxtapose Perugino's Delivery Of The Keys and Reinhardt's Abstract Painting may seem rather like going from the sublime to the ridiculous. But as we shall see, this is far from the case. Perugino constructed his depth mathematically, using the newly developed Renaissance system known as perspective. Reinhardt paints what seems to be, on first glance, an all black canvas. Perugino ensures that the surfaces of objects follow a horizontal and vertical alignment and recess diagonally "into" the picture plane. We can thus locate them positionally at left, right, above, and below, as well as in the foreground, middle-distance, or background. And then, by lighting his surfaces positively and employing a full range of color values, he cannot fail to render objects as solid and as quite distinctly positioned in space. Therefore, as in sculpture which is treated substantially, the clear presence and positioning of physical surfaces articulates space in the painting and we become aware of time and distance.
Ad Reinhardt, Abstract Painting, 1963. Oil on canvas, 60 x 60"
— Graham Collier - Art & The Creative Consciousness