Decio Gioseffi and “Perspective as symbolic form”


by Riccardo Migliari and Marco Fasolo

To mark the tenth anniversary of the death of Decio Gioseffi we would like to recall the courageous battle which as a young man he fought to amend Edwin Panofsky’s essay on Perspective as ‘symbolic form’ as
well as the misunderstandings that still affect perspective. As the years passed new elements have been introduced into the well-known querelle, Gioseffi versus Panofsky, in other words the results of several
recent studies on restricted sight and trompe-l’oeil painting and a cultural milieu currently more receptive to reconciling the historical-artistic interpretation of the essay with a scientific interpretation.
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The Mirror at the Origins of Perspective


by Riccardo Migliari, Leonardo Baglioni

Between rhe fìfteenth and mid-sixteenth century, doubt and uncertainty plagued the dawn of perspecrive in Italy, but even more so in France, especially as regards vanishing points. The current study demonstrates how this ambiguity could have originated in observations about the form of perspective images created by mirrors used as a tool to turn real 3D space into rhe 2D space of a plane.

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Una figura mancante: la legge di degradazione delle grandezze apparenti

estratto da:

Migliari, R. Baglioni, L. Fallavollita, F., Fasolo, M., Mancini, M.F. Romor, J., Salvatore, M. Piero della Francesca, Edizione nazionale del De Prospectiva Pingendi, Edizione critica del codice 616 Bibliothèque Municipale, Bordeaux. Volume III.B, Disegni, Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, p. XIII-XXVI.

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Ecdotica dei disegni del «De prospectiva pingendi»

estratto da:

Migliari, R. Baglioni, L. Fallavollita, F., Fasolo, M., Mancini, M.F. Romor, J., Salvatore, M. Piero della Francesca, Edizione nazionale del De Prospectiva Pingendi, Edizione critica del codice 616 Bibliothèque Municipale, Bordeaux. Volume III.B, Disegni, Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, p. XIII-XXVI.

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On the Interpretation of Architectural Perspective


by Riccardo Migliari, Marco Fasolo and Leonardo Baglioni

This contribution identifies the recurring problems in geometric restitution of architectural perspectives and proposes a working method. The inverse problem of perspective proposes the reconstruction of the fundamental elements in space. However, when the observer and spectator are not congruent, a question is raised: should we reinstate illusory space in realistic or surrealistic way? To answer this question, a new approach to restitution is suggested, which is organized into three moments: visual analysis, geometrical analysis and three-dimensional reconstruction, and critical interpretation.

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Perspective as a representation method

Perspective as a representation method_01

by Riccardo Migliari, Jessica Romor, Marta Salvatore

Traditional teaching of perspective wants the perspective image to be generated with various procedures, which make use of the orthogonal projections of the object that is to be represented. It is nevertheless well-known that the perspective image also can be generated autonomously, that is to say, without resorting to the orthogonal projections, as part of a method known as ‘central projection’.
In many schools and in many textbooks these two paths, which both lead to the genesis of the perspective image, remain distinct, as if they were two different methods, if for no other reason than their vocation; the first, also called, improperly, ‘the architect’s method’, which only focuses on the achievement of the result: an image similar to the natural vision of the space; the second, conceptual, devoted to the study of the central projection in itself and its applications of projective nature: from the genesis of the quadrics to the homography.
In the Roman school, yet, as from the second half of the twentieth-century, it was attempted to bring together into one single method the two above-mentioned approaches to perspective, giving a happy ending to a history that for centuries has seen the perspective split between artists and mathematicians.
In this paper, after a short presentation of the characteristics of the ‘perspective as a representation method’, is highlighted the advantages of the aforesaid method in academic teaching. These are, precisely: first of all the possibility to see in the perspective the generalization of the representation methods, following on from the thought of Wilhelm Fiedler (1832-1912); then the possibility to easily add the concepts relating to infinity (points, straight-lines and the improper plane); and, the possibility to establish a relationship that is not general, but operational, between the graphical perspective and the digitally rendered perspective.

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Scientific representation: research and teaching

This essay discusses the importance of didactics and the textbooks that represent the educational tool of it, being these an activity that is capable to integrate the results of research into the body of the Science to which they belong. The textbook, in fact, unrolls the leading thread of History while essays, articles and conference proceedings only shed light on a short stretch of that historical line. The essay also examines the possible criteria that permit to distinguish between a commercial publication and innovative works, which deserve no less attention than the results of scientific studies, transmitted in the manners that are exclusive of the academic communication.

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In praise of theory

by Riccardo Migliari

The disciplines of the field of Representation have a great quality which becomes a fault, and namely: they are shared. The teacher in architectural design draws and represents, where by the first term I refer to the invention drawing and by the second to the coded geometric model. So does the teacher in architectural survey, indeed, he does not only create projects, he also surveys. And so on, I could mention almost all the disciplines that form an architect, except for, maybe, the mathematics.

This characteristic of our science could lead to a great advantage: the possibility to easily interact with any other field of study of engineering and of architecture, in order to develop interdisciplinary research. But this opportunity is not well utilised, because of a fault, which is what could be called ‘the other side of the coin’. This fault consists in a widespread prejudice which says that the disciplines of the field of representation, exactly because they are shared, are also within reach of those who practise the disciplines without better studying them, relying only on the knowledge gained during the formative studies.

If to this prejudice we add the bad habit of not collecting information on the results obtained during the researches carried out by other research units, maybe in the room next to ours, then we have completed the picture of a hidden underestimation of our scientific and didactic contribution within the field of the respective schools.

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