Linear is one of the five categories proposed by Swiss art historian Heinrich Wölfflin to distinguish "Classic", or Renaissance art, from the Baroque. According to Wölfflin, painters of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries (Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael or Albrecht Dürer) are more linear than "painterly" Baroque painters of the seventeenth century (Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, and Velázquez) because they primarily use outline to create shape. Linearity in art can also be referenced in digital art. For example, hypertext fiction can be an example of nonlinear narrative, but there are also websites designed to go in a specified, organized manner, following a linear path.

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