Jean-François Niceron: Curious Perspective

Jean-François Niceron: Curious Perspective

Edited by James L. Hunt, John Sharp and Dominique Raynaud
2019 | 468 pp. | 94 ills. | 978-0-86698-609-0 | Hardcover 6 x 9 in
MRTS 551 | $96 |

Jean-François Niceron: Curious Perspective
being an English translation of his 1652 treatise “La Perspective Curieuse”

To students and practitioners of anamorphic art, the name of Jean-François Niceron is more than preeminent; it has become iconic. Through his one great treatise of mathematical art, La Perspective Curieuse, produced in his short but brilliant career, Niceron’s name has become synonymous with a whole branch of art. His book was first published in 1638. An augmented version was then translated into Latin by Mersenne in 1646. A newly amended and augmented version was retranslated into French by Roberval in 1652. This book is an English translation of the 1652 text, with reference to the 1638 and 1646 versions.

Niceron himself did not intend to produce a great work of mathematical theory, but a useful manual for practitioners and artists. As a result, his text at times includes approximations. Considering the continuted high reputation of the book, the mathematics have been checked for correctness and consistency, and the authors have provided a full commentary, pointing out the most difficult turns of the 17th-century French, the respective contributions of Niceron, Mersenne and Roberval, and explaining Niceron’s greatest insights and weaknesses.

With a Mathematical and Historical Commentary by James L. Hunt, John Sharp, and Dominique Raynaud. Associate Editor, Sylvia Hunt.

Table of Contents


Stván Orosz

History of Perspective Drawing
Timeline of Anamorphosis (1495–1725)
Historical and Biographical Sketch
History of the Minim Order
Marin Mersenne
Jean-François Niceron
Gilles Personne de Roberval
The Editions
Source of the Text
Table of Concordances between the Editions of 1638, 1646, and 1652
The Graphics
Transcription of the Text
Mathematical Commentary and Explanatory Notes

Curious Perspective by Jean-François Niceron
Geometrical Introduction
Volume I
Volume II
Volume III
Volume IV

Mathematical Commentary
The Fundamentals of Perspective
Commentary on Geometrical Introduction
Commentary on Volume I
Commentary on Volume II
Commentary on Volume III
Commentary on Volume IV

Natural Magic in the Seventeenth Century
Laboratory and Workshop Techniques
The Compas Proportionnel or the Sector