• Perspective

Perspective

03.12.1993

Kim H. Veltman

Narrative, Perspective and the Orders of the Church

Lecture given on 750th anniversary of Siena in 1991. Published: I Meeting Siena- Toronto, Atti, [Acts of Meeting in celebration of the 750th anniversary of the University of Siena, 1991, Siena], ed. S. Forconi, Siena: Edizioni Alsaba, 1993, pp. 123-162.

1. Introduction
2. Cycles
3. Carmelites
4. Franciscans
5. Dominicans
6. Other Orders
7. Space, Place and Time
8. Secular Cycles
9. Allegory and Metaphor
10. Conclusions.

Appendices:
1. Correlation between cycles per saint, individual number of saints, and total number of cycles, related to proto-perspectival cycles and perspectival cycles.
2. Categories, general chronology of all individual saints depicted in cycles.
3. All cycles of saints listed in terms of above categories and chronology.
4. Categories, chronology individual saints in proto-perspectival cycles.
5. Categories, chronology of proto-perspectival cycles involving saints.
6. Categories, chronology of individual saints depicted in perspectival cycles.
7. Categories and chronology of all perspectival cycles of saints.
8. All saints with proto-perspectival or perspectival cycles in terms of the above categories and chronology.
9. More detailed version of the list in appendix 6 identifying individual saints other than those in orders.
10. Subset of the above list in terms of saints who are also patron saints or protectors.
11. Chronological lists of saints, orders, and cycles.
12. Other Saints after 1000 A.D.
13. Major Franciscan cycles.
14. Major Dominican cycles.
15. Major Augustinian cycles.

1. Introduction
The development of Renaissance perspective has been explained in various ways. Some have seen it as a rebirth of methods developed by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Those who believe that it originated in the fifteenth century have explored a number of reasons: that it was linked with a shift from a finite to an infinite world view. Panofsky, for instance, held that a finite world view implied a commitment to heterogeneous and anisotropic space, whereas a belief in infinity brought with it a commitment to homogeneous and isotropic space. Some have searched for the origins of perspective in late mediaeval theories of optics; others have claimed that it was linked with a rediscovery of Ptolemy's Geography; that it was connected with practical and theoretical problems of architecture; that it was linked with astronomy through projection problems of planispheres, astrolabes and armillary spheres; or that it was a product of new social conditions introduced by the advent of mass production methods and the decline of specialized skills. All these explanations are useful but share a common assumption: that a theory of perspective preceded the practice of perspective. Unfortunately the evidence points to the contrary: namely that the practice of perspective preceded its theoretical formulation.


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