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The geometry of an art : the history of the mathematical theory of perspective from Alberti to Monge / Kirsti Andersen

Main Author Andersen, Kirsti Country Estados Unidos. Publication New York : Springer, cop. 2007 Description XXXVII, 812 p. : il. ; 24 cm Series Sources and studies in the history of mathematics and physical sciences ISBN 0-387-25961-9 CDU 514.18
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds Course reserves
Monografia Biblioteca da UMinho no Campus de Azurém
BPG2 514.18 - A Available 372658

Licenciatura em Artes Visuais Geometria II 2º semestre

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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This review of literature on perspective constructions from the Renaissance through the 18th century covers 175 authors, emphasizing Peiro della Francesca, Guidobaldo del Monte, Simon Stevin, Brook Taylor, and Johann Heinrich. It treats such topics as the various methods of constructing perspective, the development of theories underlying the constructions, and the communication between mathematicians and artisans in these developments.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgements
  • Notes to the reader
  • The birth of perspective
  • Italy in cinquecento
  • North of the Alps before sixteen hundred
  • The birth of the mathematical theory of perspective
  • The Dutch development after
  • Italy after Guidobaldo
  • France and the Southern Netherlands after 1600
  • Britain
  • The German speaking areas after 1600
  • Lambert
  • Monge closing a circle
  • Summing up
  • Appendix: On ancient roots of perspective
  • Appendix: The Appearance of a rectangle à la Leonardo da Vinci
  • Appendix: 'sGravesande taking recourse to the infinitesimal calculus to draw a column base in perspective
  • Appendix: The perspective sources, listed countrywise
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Reviews provided by Syndetics


A modern mathematician tells that the theory of perspective, as pertaining to traditional drawing and painting, simply amounts to geometry of real projective planes. But this only emerged after several centuries of development involving a proliferation of abstractions, principles, and constructions. Andersen (Univ. of Aarhus, Denmark) tells the story, from the beginnings of perspective during the Renaissance, up to 1800, its absorption into projective geometry. She finds three major steps: Guidobaldo's introduction of general vanishing points and the main theorem of perspective; Taylor's generalized concept of vanishing lines; and Lambert's abstract projective geometry. The subject's unexpected richness owes something to certain issues that fall outside abstract theory: performing constructions with Euclidean tools; confining constructions to bounded picture spaces; and constructing projections of particular three-dimensional bodies such as Platonic solids. Lambert studied constructions possible with only a straightedge. This treatise, with its definitive compilation and correlation of trends, speaks to both history of art and of mathematics, and provides a fascinating case study of on-again, off-again relationships between theory and practice. A valuable resource for all geometry teachers. A deft compression of centuries of literature for many countries, this short review cannot do justice to its riches. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. D. V. Feldman University of New Hampshire

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