Art & Art History
Filippo Brunelleschi built a perspective device that combined a rendering of the Florence baptistery with a mirror. Its story is one of the origin myths of the art and science of perspectival projection—of what the Florentine renaissance called costruzzione leggitima. Brunelleschi painted a small picture of the Florentine baptistery, which is located directly opposite the entrance of the Florentine cathedral. This picture and the accompanying apparatus were to provide a demonstration of a new technique, which we now call perspective. But Brunelleschi wanted his picture not just to show this technique, but also to demonstrate its accuracy, its special ability to put objects in space and in correct relation to one another. So he provided the beholder an apparatus that would permit each beholder to demonstrate to himself the validity of Brunelleschi’s technique.
Palermo, Charles J., Miró’s Politics (2013). nonsite.org.