In his De pictura, Leon Battista Alberti used the tale of Narcissus, who was turned into a flower, to present painting as the flower of arts: “What is painting but the act of embracing by means of art the surface of the pool?“ Indeed, the view through the surface of the pool, or through the (looking) glass, gives evidence of a theory of knowledge entailed by artificial perspective which mathematics and the philosophy of nature were not ready to accommodate. On the one hand, the view through glass contrasts with Euclid’s constructions, on the other hand, acting as a semi-transparent mirror, the surface of the pool triggers a subject-object interaction between the seer and what is seen contrasting with the (classical) scientific representation of isolated systems. This article will discuss how the dialogue between art and science, starting in the Renaissance, transformed our view of geometry and our understanding of natural processes.

The View Through Glass. Painters’ Science, Mathematicians’ Art, and the Magic of Shadows

Rossella Lupacchini
2019

Abstract

In his De pictura, Leon Battista Alberti used the tale of Narcissus, who was turned into a flower, to present painting as the flower of arts: “What is painting but the act of embracing by means of art the surface of the pool?“ Indeed, the view through the surface of the pool, or through the (looking) glass, gives evidence of a theory of knowledge entailed by artificial perspective which mathematics and the philosophy of nature were not ready to accommodate. On the one hand, the view through glass contrasts with Euclid’s constructions, on the other hand, acting as a semi-transparent mirror, the surface of the pool triggers a subject-object interaction between the seer and what is seen contrasting with the (classical) scientific representation of isolated systems. This article will discuss how the dialogue between art and science, starting in the Renaissance, transformed our view of geometry and our understanding of natural processes.
On Art and Science. Tango of an Eternally Inseparable Duo
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Rossella Lupacchini
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/726984
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