- Body in perspective
- Light and shadow
In his book “Lo inganno de gl’occhi” Pietro Accolti explains how perspective works. He was librarian and architect in the service of Cardinal Carlo Medici. His treatise is divided in three parts: The first part of the book is to school your perception and be aware of your actions. The second part is about the body and its details in the perspective. The last part explains how light, and shadow work in perspective.
The text is very compact which makes the book not very reader friendly but the book has a lot of chapters, which organize the “Lo inganno de gl’occhi” very well. In extension to the written part, there are a lot of drawings who illustrate the explanations of Pietro Accolti. The drawings are very precise and technical. I read that his approach for perspective is very mathematical and the first of this kind. In the first part of the book the drawings are quite simple and explain basic rules of perspective. In the second part they get more complex because it is about bodys in perspective. Each point in a drawing has an allocated letter. In his text Accolti often explains the drawing by using these different letters. It is essential to read the written and drawn part in combination to understand the drawings itself completely.
“Lo inganno de gl’occhi” is translated to “the deception of the eyes”. Which is chosen wisely considering the fact that drawing a body in perspective on a paper is a deception of the eyes. Before Accolti explains how shadows and light work in perspective he illustrates the natural light and its influence for perspective drawings. Shadow and light enable the drawing to appear very real and three dimensional thus even more as a deception, what makes shadow and light even more important to use. The moment you implement shadows and with that light into the drawing the three dimensional body appears much clearer.
It seems that “Lo inganno de gl’occhi” would be a very useful book to learn how perspective works and what is important to considerate when creating a drawing in perspective. It is somehow a manual or guidance suitable for architects and everyone else who would like to create a three dimensional optical illusion on two dimensional levels.
Based on the circumstances that I don’t have any knowledge of the italian language it is quite difficult to understand Accoltis explanations for perspective fully.