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Anamorphosis: Between Perspective and Catoptrics

  • Agostino De RosaEmail author
  • Alessio Bortot
Living reference work entry

Abstract

This essay is conceived in two parts: the first part deals with the perspectival and artistic work of the Minim Father Jean François Niceron (1613–1646). Niceron is the author of two volumes (the second published posthumously) that have become milestones concerning studies on perspective in the Seventeenth-century – La perspective curieuse (Paris, 1638) and the Thaumaturgus opticus (Paris, 1646). Niceron’s expressive world developed into acutely deceptive works at a very early stage of his life.

The second part describes a digital interpretation of a non-executed project for a scientific Villa where we could have found instruments of Wonder employing mirrors and lenses commissioned by Cardinal Camillo Pamphilj (1622–1666). The project was conceived by the architect Francesco Borromini (1599–1667) and Father Emmanuel Maignan (1601–1676) at the end of the first half of the Seventeenth century. Borromini, who is well known for his architectonical work, drew both building plan and façade using two different symmetrical solutions. Maignan wrote a list of 21 scientific games, most of them scaled architectonically, representing the experimental research in the Baroque period on optics, gnomonic, void, acoustics, magnetism and so on. As well, optical ‘games’ adopting conical mirrors that create catoptric anamorphosis, and flat mirrors conceived to project sunrays in the building and develop catoptric sundials, will also be examined.

Niceron’s and Maignan’s epistemological research intersected Cartesian and Hobbesian thought. Their works often became a true reflection of contemporary philosophical positions, while nevertheless preserving their stylistic autonomy both in content and form.

Keywords

Anamorphosis Perspective Optics Catoptrics Dioptric Baroque 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Iuav in Venice/dCPVeniceItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Bharath Sriraman
    • 1
  • Kyeong-Hwa Lee
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mathematical SciencesThe University of MontanaMissoulaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics Education, College of EducationSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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