The first viewer of a painting was the painter. The focus on this secondary viewer has become so well integrated in current art historical praxis that it comes as something of a surprise that it is of remarkably recent origins. Art historians still debate whether the earliest pictures of Saint Francis were meant to be memorial tables or altarpieces. A similar debate inform later pictures, like Jan van Eyck's Madonna with Canon van der Paele. Piero's contemporaries would have qualified the Flagellation as a "tabula" (in Latin), "tavola" (in Italian), or "quadro" (again in Italian). Tabula means plank or board, or an object made out of planks, including a picture. For Piero, perspective was not so much a way to open the picture up to the wider world of the viewer as it was a means to establish an intimacy between himself and his work. And it was Piero's hope that viewers after him would sense that intimacy.