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Journal for Geometry and Graphics 19 (2015), No. 2, 237--256
Copyright Heldermann Verlag 2015

Perspective Between Fiction and Function: Pattern Mutations Through Science and Art

Luigi Cocchiarella
Dept. of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano, Via Bonardi 9, Building 14, 20133 Milano, Italy

This paper aims to focus on the mutations occurred in the perspective pattern as signs of changes not only in the projective knowledge but also in the same idea of space. On this purpose, perspective sets from treatises between the 15th and 19th century will be discussed and compared as case studies, which will reveal significant differences in terms of geometric approach and graphic procedures. As Robin Evans could say, the former seem to follow the method of Art, aiming to provide affordable constructions for pictorial fiction, while the latter seem to concern more closely the method of Science, mainly focusing on projective function. Therefore, a question about 'what' the two systems actually show will emerge: according to the spirit of the ages, starting from showing the image of objects, perspective seems to have gradually shown the image of space itself over time.

Keywords: Perspective, homology, projective geometry, descriptive geometry, history of geometry.

MSC: 00A66; 51N05, 01A05, 97U99

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