The Treatise on Perspective


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Published and Unpublished

Edited by Lyle Massey

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From the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries, Europe witnessed significant new developments in the science and art of perspective. This comprehensive and insightful book identifies and discusses the multiple discourses produced on perspective throughout this period by such authors as Leonardo da Vinci, Piero della Francesca, Albrecht Dürer, Sebastiano Serlio, and Matteo Zaccolini.

Fifteen distinguished scholars provide commentary on the complex history and variable nature of early modern perspective studies, addressing issues of reception, dissemination, citation, longevity, format, and imagery. These studies revise our understanding of how perspective theory and practice evolved over time and how this unique species of publication affected the course of art, architecture, and mathematics in early modern Europe.

Published by the National Gallery of Art, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts / Distributed by Yale University Press

Lyle Massey is assistant professor of art history at Northwestern University.

“As this carefully edited and beautifully illustrated work attests, scholars can still get ecstatic about a vanishing point. Highly recommended.”—Choice

"With crisp 226 gray-scale images from those texts, this book gathers together a variety of studies of Renaissance perspective treatises that, at their best, read like good murder mysteries. The essays are primarily original scholarship and allow the excitement of the scholar’s discoveries about the treatise and the artist’s original discoveries on perspective to come through. . . . . An intriguing and perhaps timely reminder that at one time, the fields of art and science were closely interrelated."—Publishers Weekly

"This learned and stimulating book invites some additional lines of inquiry. . . . Architectural historians should be grateful to this collection of mostly art historical essays for having brought some such issues without solving them once again to the forefront, in a new and often thought-provoking context."—Mario Capo, JSAH
ISBN: 9780300097566
Publication Date: September 10, 2003
Publishing Partner: Published by the National Gallery of Art, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts / Distributed by Yale University Press
376 pages, 9 x 11
218 b/w + 8 color illus.
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