NICERON, Jean-Francois
La perspective curieuse .. avec l'Optique et la catoptrique du RP Mersenne
Paris: Langlois ,1652
Folio (350 x 225 mm), [12], 191, [I]; [12], 134, [2 (blank) pp], frontispiece, portrait, 50 numbered plates.
French armorial calf binding with the (later) gilt arms of Joseph Bonnier de la Mosson (1702 - 1744) on the front cover and his monogram on the rear cover.
Geometrical perspective was studied intensively during the 16th and 17th century for both its mathematical and its artistic applications. One particularly contentious issue was the role of the observer's position in the rendering of realistic 3D imagery in a 2D picture. The general practice was to develop the perspective from an observation point normal (i.e., perpendicular) to the image plane. However, some artists (notably Hans Holbein) and mathematicians were experimenting with a form of perspective known as anamorphic projection, in which the 2D scene is rendered so that, from a normal point of view it appears grotesquely distorted, but becomes realistic when viewed from an extremely oblique angle. Jean-Francois Niceron was a French mathematician who made significant contributions to mathematical and artistic perspective, especially in the areas of anamorphic projection and optical illusion. The Perspective curieuse is one of the most important 17th century books on this subject. He and Emmanuel Maignan painted a pair of anamorphic murals on either side of a gallery at the Minim convent of Santa Trinita dei Monti in Rome. When viewed nearly edge on, the murals appear to jump out in front of the viewer.
Jean-Francois Niceron, La perspective curieuse (frontispiece), Paris 1652.
How to make an anamorphic projection ( from Niceron, Perspective Curieuse, Paris 1652).