Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 47-62

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Perspective in a box

  • Agnes VerweijAffiliated withFaculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, Delft University of Technology Email author 


Perspective is an optional subject for students of some levels in Dutch secondary schools. A proper final task on this subject is the analysis of existing perspective drawings or paintings. This task is sometimes supplemented by a more creative and challenging assignment, that is, the design and construction of a perspective box. A perspective box is an empty box with, on the inner sides, perspective pictures giving a surprising spatial effect when observed through the peephole. The students who take up the challenge are in the first place inspired by the six still existing antique wooden perspective boxes, especially because they were created by Dutch seventeenth-century painters of architecture and interiors. In this article the setup of the perspective in these boxes will be discussed. But for a clear comprehension, we begin by reviewing the principles of linear perspective and their implications for the way perspective images can best be viewed.


seventeenthcentury art representations of architecture didactics geometry lines mappings transformations perspective perspective geometry