Friday, November 14, 2008

Artistic Perspective


Felippo Brunelleschi and Paolo Toscanelli
Must have met somewhere in Florence, maybe lunching at the deli,
When Paolo pointed out Italian paintings were defective.
“Let me show you some neat math that lets you paint things in perspective
Cause perspective paintings show that things look larger when they’re nearer,”
Which Felippo demonstrated when you looked into a mirror
At the painting he had made of buildings just across the street.
And the art world was enthralled by Brunelleschi’s painting feat.
To shorten a long story and just give you the synoptical
This math was based on al-Hazen’s book of his theories optical.
Now al-Hazen had figured out that light travels in rays
Which bounce off objects and enter the eye in different ways.
And from this theory, captured in his seven-volume book,
Al-Hazen had given us a clue to how these objects look.
In old art, an object’s size denotes its place within creation
But perspective makes that size more the result of observation.

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