Advertisement

Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 315–335 | Cite as

Inácio Vieira: Optics and Perspective as Instruments towards a Sensitive Space

  • João Paulo Cabeleira Marques Coelho
Research

Abstract

The manuscripts of Jesuit mathematician Inácio Vieira (1678–1739) played a significant rule in treatise production in Portugal. The Tractado da Óptica (1714) and Tractado de Prospectiva (1716) address the nature and properties of vision, the deception and disillusion of seeing and the fundaments of perspective. Geometric properties of visual rays, principles of optical illusion and values inherent in the optical and mathematical representation of space are explored, together with practical applications in architecture and painting. Although he does not make an original scientific contribution, he formulates operative statements applied to the arrangement of a sensitive space. This approach to optics and perspective brings up the relationship between reality and appearance in which the production of an image lies in the fact that to show an object, one has to show it as it is not. Vieira’s work forges links between optics (perspectiva naturalis) and perspective (perspectiva artificialis), analyzing image distortion through spatial perception, illusion and quadratura Pursuing an empirical architecture, the simulated space of quadratura is understood as a challenge that creates a new dimension and experience of architectural space. Form and metric properties, from real and illusory construction, are interrelated contributing to an imaginary perception of spatiality. It is here that optics and perspective are established as architectural instruments for achieving a sensitive space.

Keywords

Inácio Vieira perspective optics history of science quadratura Baroque architecture treatises 

References

  1. Albuquerque Luís (1973) Para a história da ciência em Portugal. Lisbon, Livros HorizonteGoogle Scholar
  2. Loyola, Ignacio De. 1538. Esercitia Spiritualia. Rome. Engl trans: The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Father Elder Mullan, S.J., trans. New York: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1914.Google Scholar
  3. Argan, Giulio Carlo. 1989. The Baroque Age. Geneva: Skira.Google Scholar
  4. Brooke John Hedley. (2003) Ciência e Religião. Algumas perspectivas históricas. Porto, Porto EditoraGoogle Scholar
  5. Caetano, Joaquim Oliveira and SOROMENHO, Miguel. 2001. A ciência do desenho. A ilustração na colecção de Códices da Biblioteca Nacional. Lisbon: Biblioteca Nacional.Google Scholar
  6. Di marzio, Daniele. 1999. La Sala Clementina in Vaticano. Procedimento per la costruzione diretta della prospettiva su superficie curve: ipotesi teorica e verifica sperimentale. Pp. 152–177 in La Costruzione dell’Architettura Illusoria, Riccardo Migliari, ed. Rome: Gangemi Editore.Google Scholar
  7. Euclid Hedley. (1956) The Thirteen Books of the Elements. 3 vols. Thomas Heath, trans. Dover, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Farrell, Allan. 1970. The Jesuit Ratio Studiorum of 1599. Presented at the Conference of major superiors of Jesuits, Washington, United States, July 21, 1970.Google Scholar
  9. Kemp Martin. (1990) The Science of Art, Optical themes in western art from Brunelleschi to Seurat. Yale University Press, New Haven and LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Leitão, Henrique. 2008. Sphaera mundi: a ciência na aula da esfera: manuscritos científicos do Colégio de Santo Antão nas colecções da BNP. Lisbon: Biblioteca NacionalGoogle Scholar
  11. Leitão, Henrique. 2002. “Jesuit Mathematical Practice in Portugal, 1540–1759”. In The New Science and Jesuit Science: Seventeenth Century Perspectives, edited by Mordechai Feingold, 229–247. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  12. Melo, Magno Morais. 2002. Perspectiva pictorum: as arquitecturas ilusórias nos tectos pintados em Portugal no século XVIII. Ph.D. thesis, Universidade Nova de Lisboa.Google Scholar
  13. Murtinho, Vítor. 2000. Perspectivas: o espelho maior ou o espaço do espanto. Coimbra: Departamento de Arquitectura da FCTUC.Google Scholar
  14. Perez-Gomez Alberto, Pelletier Louise. (1992) Architectural Representation beyond Perspectivism. Perspecta 27: 21–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Raggi, Giuseppina. 2004. Arquitecturas do engano: a longa construção da ilusão. Ph.D. thesis, Universidade de LisboaGoogle Scholar
  16. Saldanha, Nuno. 1998. A muda poesia. As poéticas da pintura no Portugal de Seiscentos. In Bento Coelho 1620–1708 e a Cultura do seu Tempo, Luís de Moura Sobral, ed. Lisbon: IPPAR.Google Scholar
  17. Vieira, Inácio. 1714. Tractado de Óptica. Codex 5169, Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa.Google Scholar
  18. Vieira, Inácio. 1716. Tractado de Prospectiva. Codex 5170, Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa.Google Scholar
  19. Vieira, Inácio 1717. Tractado da Catóptrica. Codex 5165, Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Escola de Arquitectura daUniversidade do MinhoGuimarãesPortugal

Personalised recommendations