Rubin Vase By Edgar John Rubin Found In Doctoral Thesis Synsoplevede Figures
Rubin Vase by Edgar John Rubin
Thesis: Synsoplevede Figures
(Visual Figures)
Year: 1915

Is it a vase or is it a silhouette of two faces facing each other!

Rubin vase is also known as…

  • Figure-ground vase
  • Rubin face

Rubin vase is a famous example of figure-ground perception.

Rubin Vase Perception

In Rubin vase illusion, the viewer has two possible interpretations both valid:

  1. The white vase in a black background. (White color is perceived as the figure.)
  2. Two symmetrical profiles facing each other on a white background. (Black color is perceived as the figure.)

Both figures, that is the vase and the profiles have a common contour.

It can be summarized as an optical illusion in which the negative space around the vase forms the silhouettes of two faces.

Who Introduced Rubin Vase?

Edgar John Rubin (1886-1951), a Danish psychologist-phenomenologist, known for his work on figure-ground perception, the best known of which are optical illusions where a ground defines a shape and vice versa.

He introduced the Rubin vase in his doctoral thesis which was written in Danish language named Synsoplevede Figurer (Visual Figures) in 1915.

The Fundamental Principle Of Rubin Vase

When two fields have a common border, and one is considered as a figure and the other as a background, immediate perceptual experience is characterized by a shaping effect which emerges from the common border of the fields and which operates only on one field or operates more strongly on one than on the other.

Edgar John Rubin

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