Envisioning geometry: architecture in the grip of perspective

Temple, Nicholas (2016) Envisioning geometry: architecture in the grip of perspective. In: Visioning technologies: the architectures of sight. Routledge, London, pp. 21-35. ISBN 9781472454966

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Abstract / Description

This book chapter examines the early developments of perspective in 15th century Florence, arguing that the conception of pictorial space in the Early Renaissance both drew upon late Medieval notions of luminary space and anticipated the 'geometrisation' of space in Modernity. The paper demonstrates this intermediate position (at once reflective and anticipatory) through an examination of the ideas of Nicolas Cusanus, Filippo Brunelleschi, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Leon Battista Alberti, all of whom presented different 'models' of perspective in the light of their own artistic predilections and architectural interests. A shared view however of the role and significance of perspective at this time concerns its capacity to redefine pictorially the civic and religious dimensions of the actual city. This is demonstrated in both Brunelleschi's perspective 'experiments' and Ghiberti's composition and spatial articulation of the 'Gates of Paradise' for Florence Baptistery. In the final section of the paper, I examine a photograph by Le Corbusier in which I demonstrate how his visual recording of his studio (articulated in a drawing by Peter Carl) applies similar methods of luminary and geometric relationships found in Renaissance pictorial space.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: perspective, Renaissance Humanism, Renaissance architecture, Filippo Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti, Nicolas Cusanus, Medieval optics.
Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology
100 Philosophy & psychology > 110 Metaphysics
100 Philosophy & psychology > 180 Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy
200 Religion > 210 Philosophy & theory of religion
200 Religion > 230 Christianity & Christian theology
200 Religion > 270 History of Christianity & Christian church
300 Social sciences > 390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
400 Language > 450 Italian, Romanian & related languages
500 Natural Sciences and Mathematics > 510 Mathematics
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 710 Civic & landscape art
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 720 Architecture
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 730 Plastic arts; sculpture
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 740 Drawing & decorative arts
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 750 Painting & paintings
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 760 Graphic arts; printmaking & prints
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 770 Photography, photographs & computer art
800 Literature & rhetoric > 870 Italic literatures; Latin literature
900 History & geography > 940 History of Europe
Department: The School of Art, Architecture and Design
Depositing User: Nicholas Temple
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2020 19:54
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2020 19:54
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/5906

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