Studies in the History of Art, Volume 59: The Treatise on Perspective

Studies in the History of Art, Volume 59: The Treatise on Perspective

# 27260

NGA Produced


In Stock




Edited by Lyle Massey

This is a publication by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), the Gallery's research institute.


From the fifteenth through the seventeenth century, Europe witnessed significant new developments in the science and art of perspective. The essays included in The Treatise on Perspective: Published and Unpublished identify and discuss the multiple discourses produced on perspective throughout this period, by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Piero della Francesca, Albrecht Dürer, Sebastiano Serlio, and Matteo Zaccolini.

  • Hardcover
  • 392 Pages, 226 duotones, 9 x 11 inches
  • Published: 2003

Editorial Reviews

 From Publishers Weekly:

Perspective was truly the arena in which the "Renaissance Man" could shine: combining art and science, mathematics and optics, it was at the time a cutting-edge field. Many Renaissance artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Piero della Francesco and Albrecht Durer wrote and published "treatises," or studies on perspective. As Northwestern University art historian Massey notes, these often took "the form of beautiful, lavishly illustrated folio volumes." 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. Particularly fascinating is an essay by da Vinci scholar Clara Farago that shows how, by beginning a study of the relatively new science of hydraulics with a seemingly unrelated discussion of the moon, he not only positioned hydraulics "among the theoretical sciences," he ultimately "defined the subject... in terms that sixteenth-century writers called `art.'" It's an intriguing and perhaps timely reminder that at one time, the fields of art and science were closely interrelated. 
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