The title “Paradossi per pratticare la prospettiva senza saperla”, which translates to “paradoxes for practicing perspective without knowing it”, already gives us a pretty good idea of what the book is about. It seems to be a didactic book which promises to give us some tips and tricks for using perspective “without actually knowing it”. It reminds me of the instructional book series we have nowadays “… for Dummies”.
List of contents
There is a “tavola” which gives us an overview of the book and it appears that the book is split into two parts: “Parte Prima” and “Parte Seconda”. The first part seems to be more theoretical with definitions and explanations of principles. The second part is more practical.
There are quite a lot of illustrations which look like they aid in better understanding the content of the texts. Both in the “Parte Prima” and “Parte Seconda” every other page is an illustration. This gives the illustrations the same importance as the written text. Additionally, there are also a few illustrations which solely have decorative purposes.
The book is rather large but very thin. To me this further highlights the importance of the illustrations in the book, because an image needs a big page to be truly represented – thus making the book bigger in size but not thicker (/ longer in length).
The book was written by Giulio Troili who was an Italian painter of the Baroque period. This information is not very surprising considering the number of illustrations in the book and the content of the book in general (perspective). Who better to teach about practicing perspective than a painter? Apparently, he also devoted himself to quadratura – which is used in illusionistic ceiling paintings and is “directly tied to seventeenth-century theories of perspective and the representation of architectural space.” (Source: Wikipedia)