«Lucidum prospectivae Speculum”, the title of the book, means “A bright mirror of the Perspective”.
There is no list of contents, but the texts are structured after the figures in the illustration. They are also respectively captioned with “Erklärung” (Explanation) or “Beschreibung” (Description) of that figure. Therefore, I assume the text is only there to support the illustrations. The book also consists mainly of illustrations. Out of about 200 pages, only 35 pages are printed with text.
The illustrations are precise plan drawings of objects, columns, facades, altars, ceilings, capitals, and even whole buildings. They all are drawn from different perspectives and are much detailed. In some drawings even people have been drawn into it, which makes the drawings more realistic. The book is large so that the drawings can be well seen.
The author, Paul Heineken, born in 1674, was a German painter, draughtsman, and architect. He learned how to draw from his father, who was the city master-builder of Riga. Paul Heineken published the book “Lucidum prospectivae Speculum” in 1727 and it was and is still to this day recognized as one of the best books written about perspective in the eighteenth century.
This book is all about perspective. We can recognize that not only in the title but also in the labeling of the text and most importantly in the illustrations. I assume that Paul Heineken wrote this book so that architects and painters can better understand and apply the benefits of perspective. There were probably not many helpful books on that subject, and people did not have as much knowledge about it as we have today. I can imagine that Heineken’s book could also have been used as a textbook for studying perspective.