Ellipses in Composition
Ellipses used in a composition are regular oval shapes that connect and tie together specific elements to create a sense of unity and a fluid visual movement for the viewer. In the painting below, "A Young Woman Seated at the Virginal," notice how Vermeer uses ellipses in the shapes and shadows of his subject to create a circular rhythm in his design.
Painting above by Myron Barnstone demonstrating the use of ellipses.
Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson using ellipses in his composition.
Painting above by William-Adolphe Bouguereau demonstrating the use of ellipses in composition.