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Brunelleschi’s Perspective Panels. Rupture And Continuity In The History Of The Image

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Chapter Summary

In the fifteenth century, Filippo Brunelleschis demonstrations of perspective representation were regarded as something entirely new. As Brunelleschi's panels did not survive, modern research predominantly consists of interpretations of Antonio di Tuccio Manetti's account, sometimes supplemented by commentaries on the brief reports by Filarete and Giorgio Vasari. The important function of images in the quattrocento, the representation of scenes from salvific history, of saints and God, required clear distinctions between the represented space and the space of the viewer. It is necessary to ask whether perspective representation inevitably implied profound secularisation of the previously religious image. Hardly any other iconographic theme can so clearly illustrate that the application of perspective had to be carried out very cautiously. The particular circumstances of Brunelleschis perspective demonstrations did not take into consideration some crucial questions which later painters had to address as soon as they wanted to apply linear perspective to their pictures.

Keywords: Antonio di Tuccio Manetti; Filippo Brunelleschis perspective panels; iconographic theme; religious image



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