Brook Taylor’s Work on Linear Perspective

A Study of Taylor’s Role in the History of Perspective Geometry. Including Facsimiles of Taylor’s Two Books on Perspective

  • Kirsti Andersen

Part of the Sources in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences book series (SOURCES, volume 10)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Brook Taylor
    Pages 69-143
  3. Brook Taylor
    Pages 145-247
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 249-259

About this book


The aim of this book is to make accessible the two important but rare works of Brook Taylor and to describe his role in the history of linear perspective. Taylor's works, Linear Perspective and New Principles on Linear Perspective, are among the most important sources in the history of the theory of perspective. This text focuses on two aspects of this history. The first is the development, starting in the beginning of the 17th century, of a mathematical theory of perspective where gifted mathematicians used their creativity to solve basic problems of perspective and simultaneously were inspired to consider more general problems in the projective geometry. Taylor was one of the key figures in this development. The second aspect concerns the problem of transmitting the knowledge gained by mathematicians to the practitioners. Although Taylor's books were mathematical rather than challenging, he was the first mathematician to succeed in making the practitioners interested in teaching the theoretical foundation of perspective. He became so important in the development that he was named "the father of modern perspective" in England. The English school of Taylor followers contained among others the painter John Kirby and Joseph Highmore and the scientist Joseph Priestley. After its translation to Italian and French in the 1750s, Taylor's work became popular on the continent.


Mathematica Microsoft Access boundary element method creativity development geometry history of mathematics inheritance knowledge mixing presentation projective geometry proposition story theorem

Authors and affiliations

  • Kirsti Andersen
    • 1
  1. 1.History of Science DepartmentUniversity of AarhusAarhus CDenmark

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1992
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4612-6951-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4612-0935-5
  • Series Print ISSN 0172-6315
  • Buy this book on publisher's site