Recommended Key Texts

F Dubery & J Willats (1983) - 'Perspective and Other Drawing Systems', Herbert Press, London (Revised ed. of 'Drawing Systems', 1972).

  • A good introduction to the role of perspective in the development of art.
  • Out of print, but usually available secondhand on Amazon

E Panofsky (1927) - 'Perspective as Symbolic Form', trans. C S Wood, Zone Books, New York, 1991.

  • The starting point for any research on the theoretical basis of perspective, cited by most recent publications.
  • Paperback still in print and available on Amazon

Bibliographic List

L B Alberti (1435) - 'De Pictura', trans. C Grayson as 'On Painting', Phaidon, London, 1972 (reprint with introduction by Martin Kemp, Penguin, 2005). Amazon link

K Andersen (2007) -  'The Geometry of an Art: The History of the Mathematical Theory of Perspective from Alberti to Monge', Springer.

G C Argan (1946) - 'The Architecture of Brunelleschi and the Origins of Perspective Theory in the Fifteenth Century', in 'Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes', Vol 9, 1946, pp 96-121.

R Arnheim (1982) - 'The Power of the Center: A Study of Composition in the Visual Arts', University of California Press, Los Angeles. Amazon link

C Bertelli (1991) - 'Piero Della Francesca', trans. E Farrelly, Yale, 1992. Amazon link

F G da Bibiena (1711) - 'L Architettura Civile', Facs.ed., with introduction by D M Kelder, New York, 1971.

G G Bibiena (1740) - 'Architetture e Prospettive', Facs.ed., Dover, New York, 1964. Amazon link

J Blake (1982) - 'La Falsa Prospettiva in Italian Renaissance Architecture', Oriel Press, London.

F Borsi (1973) - 'Leon Battista Alberti: The Complete Works' trans. R Carpanini, Phaidon, London, 1977.

J Bronowski (1973) - 'The Ascent of Man', BBC Books, London. Amazon link

M S Bunim (1940) - 'Space in Medieval Painting and the Forerunners of Perspective', New York.

B A R Carter (1970) - 'Perspective', entry in H Osbourne (ed.), 'The Oxford Companion to Art', Oxford.

E Ceregheni (1991) - 'The Italian Origins of Rousham' in M Mosser and G Teyssot (eds) - 'The History of Garden Design: the Western Tradition from the Renaissance to the Present Day', Thames and Hudson, London.

K Clark (1969) - 'Civilisation', BBC Books, London. Amazon link

A Cole (1992) - 'Perspective', Dorling Kindersley, London.

H Damisch (1987) - 'The Origin of Perspective', trans. by J Goodman (1994), MIT. Amazon link

S Y Edgerton Jr (1975) - 'The Renaissance Rediscovery of Linear Perspective', Harper and Row, New York. Amazon link

S Y Edgerton Jr (1991) - 'The Heritage of Giotto's Geometry', Cornell, New York. Amazon link

Euclid (c300BC) - 'The Optics', trans. H E Burton, in 'Journal of the Optical Society of America', Vol 35, No 5, May 1945, pp 357-372.

R Evans (1995) - 'The Projective Cast: Architecture and Its Three Geometries', MIT. Amazon link

J V Field (1985) - 'Giovanni Battista Benedetti on the Mathematics of Linear Perspective', in 'Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes', Vol 48, 1985, pp 71-99.

R Flores and E Prats (2008) - 'Through the Canvas: Architecture Inside Dutch Paintings', Flores & Prats Arquitectes. Amazon link

H Foster (ed) (1988) - 'Vision and Visuality', Bay Press, Seattle. Amazon link

A Fredericksen (2004) - 'Vanishing Point: The Perspective Drawings of JMW Turner', Tate Publishing. Amazon link

S Giedion (1941) - 'Space, Time and Architecture', Harvard. Amazon link

A Hauser (1951) - 'The Social History of Art', RKP, London.

Sir T Heath (1921) - 'The History of Greek Mathematics', Clarendon Press, Oxford. [SLC 510.938(H)]

D Hockney (2001) - 'Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters', Thames and Hudson. Amazon link

L Holm (1992) - 'Reading Through the Mirror: The Invention of Perspective and the Post-Freudian Eye/I' in 'Assemblage', No 18, 1992, pp 21-39.

W M Ivins (1938) - 'On the Rationalization of Sight', Da Capo, New York.

W M Ivins (1946) - 'Art and Geometry: A Study in Space Intuitions', Harvard.

M Kemp (1990) - 'The Science of Art: Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat', Yale. Amazon link

O Koester (2000) - 'Painted Illusions: The Art of Cornelius Gijsbrechts', National Gallery. Amazon link

R Kuhn (1990) - 'Measured Appearances: Documentation and Design in Early Perspective Drawing' in 'Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes', Vol 53, 1990, pp 114-132.

F Leeman (1975) - 'Hidden Images: Games of Perception, Anamorphic Art and Illusion from the Renaissance to the Present', trans. E C Allison and M L Kaplan, New York.

Leonardo da Vinci (c1508-17) - 'The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci', trans. with introduction by E MacCurdy, Cape, London, 1938.

G R Levy (1943) - 'The Greek Discovery of Perspective: Its Influence on Renaissance and Modern Art' in 'Journal of RIBA', January 1943, pp 51-57.

D C Lindberg (1976) - 'Theories of Vision From Al-Kindi to Kepler', Chicago. Amazon link

Lucretius (98-55BC) - 'De Rerum Natura', trans. W H D Rouse and M F Smith, Heinemann, London, 1975.

J A Lynes (1980) - 'Brunelleschi's Perspectives Reconsidered' in 'Perception', volume 9, 1980, pp 87-99.

A T Manetti (c.1482-89) - 'The Life of Brunelleschi, ed. H Saalman, trans. C Enggass, Pennsylvania State Univ. Press, 1970. Amazon link

L Massey (2002) - 'The Treatise on Perspective, Published and Unpublished', Yale. Amazon link

C Norberg Schulz (1975) - 'Meaning in Western Architecture', Studio Vista, London, rev. ed.1980.

E Panofsky (1955) - 'Meaning in the Visual Arts', Doubleday, New York. Amazon link

D Pedoe (1976) - 'Geometry and the Liberal Arts', Penguin, Harmondsworth.

A Pérez-Gómez (1983) - 'Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science', MIT. Amazon link

A Pérez-Gómez and L Pelletier (1997) - 'Architectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge', MIT. Amazon link

Plato (c375BC) - 'The Republic', trans. D Lee, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1955. Amazon link

A Pozzo (1693) - 'Perspective in Architecture and Painting', Facs.ed., Dover, New York, 1989. Amazon link

C M Richardson et al (2006) - 'Renaissance Art Reconsidered: An Anthology of Primary Sources', Wiley-Blackwell. Amazon link

G M A Richter (1959) - 'A Handbook of Greek Art', Phaidon, London (9th Ed. 1987). Amazon link

G M A Richter (1970) - 'Perspective in Greek and Roman Art', Phaidon, London.

M Rostovtzeff (1919) - 'Ancient Decorative Wall-Painting' in 'Journal of Hellenic Studies', Vol XXXIX, 1919, pp 144-163.

S Serlio (1611) - 'The Five Books of Architecture', Facs.ed., Dover, New York, 1982. Amazon link

J Six (1920) - 'Agatharchos', in 'Journal of Hellenic Studies', Vol XL, 1920, pp 180-189.

G Stamp (1982) - 'The Great Perspectivists', Trefoil, London. Amazon link

P Steadman (2001) - 'Vermeer's Camera: Uncovering the Truth Behind the Masterpieces', Oxford. Amazon link

R Tobin (1990) - 'Ancient Perspective and Euclid's Optics' in 'Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes', Vol 53, 1990, pp 14-41.

G Vasari (1550) - 'The Lives of the Artists', trans. J+P Bondanella, Oxford, 1991. Amazon link

M D Vernon (1962) - 'The Psychology of Perception', Penguin, Harmondsworth.

D Vesely (2006) - 'Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation: The Question of Creativity in the Shadow of Production', MIT. Amazon link

Vitruvius (c46-30BC) - 'The Ten Books of Architecture', trans. M H Morgan (1914), Dover, New York. Amazon link

J Vredeman de Vries (1604/5) - 'Perspective', Facs.ed. of plates only, Dover, New York, 1968. Amazon link

J White (1956) - 'Perspective in Ancient Drawing and Painting', Soc. for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies.

J White (1957) - 'The Birth and Rebirth of Pictorial Space', Faber, London (3rd Ed. 1987).

D Wiebenson (1982) - 'Architectural Theory and Practice from Alberti to Ledoux', Chicago.

L Wright (1983) - 'Perspective in Perspective', RKP, London.